Jim Nygaard brings just under forty years of experience as an educator, principal, and superintendent to Valdez City Schools. He has worked throughout Alaska for the past fifteen years and while serving in Cordova was honored with the Alaska Superintendent of the Year Award in 2012. He holds a master’s degree in Educational Leadership and brings enthusiasm and balance to all aspects of the office of superintendent.
Patrons, Parents, and Community Members,
The writing of this letter finds the school district comfortably transitioning into our second semester. Although it may appear early, the District is actively engaged in planning for the 2017-2018 school year. Staffing conversations, facilities maintenance scheduling, calendar development, and the development of contingency budgets awaiting the legislature’s directives fill our days. As the school year eases closer to the final weeks, please be aware that each of these items will be formally updated for your awareness.
Recently the State Board of Education selected a new student assessment as required by the federal government. This test will be administered this spring and cover the areas of English, Language Arts, and Math for grades 3-10. Science assessments will be given in grades 4, 8, and 10. These tests will all be given electronically to students within Valdez City Schools. These assessments allow parents, educators, and community members to know how well our schools are performing. After the assessments are given, adjustments for student success can be made if necessary. It is critical for the public to know that the results of these tests direct many decisions made about education across Alaska. For more information, please see EED’s website ( www.eed.state.ak.us ).
This spring, the District will again be participating in two different student surveys—the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), which is for high school students only, and The School Climate and Connectedness Survey (SCCS), which focuses on grades 5-12. The intent of both surveys is to generate data critical to the well-being of our students. The YRBS generates data on specific behaviors that contribute to unintentional injuries and violence, such as alcohol and drug use, sexual behaviors, physical activity, and unhealthy dietary behaviors. The SCCS is a survey taken by students and staff since 2006 and developed by the American Institutes for Research (AIR) in partnership with Alaska Association of School Boards (AASB). It measures positive school climate, how connected students feel to adults and peers, social and emotional learning, and observed risk behaviors at school or school events. More information on these surveys can be found at the following websites:
Although both surveys are voluntary, I encourage all parents to support their children in participating.
Valdez is a remarkable community with exceptional children. As the School District continues to move forward in addressing the many challenges associated with educating our children, please feel free to contact this office with any questions you may have.
Superintendent of Schools