Students start school this week

By August 16, 2013Education

Gastineau Elementary students will start the school year with a renovated playground. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Coffee/CBJ)

Back to school time is just around the corner. High school orientation took place earlier this week and teachers returned to work yesterday.

At Auke Bay Elementary School, renovations to entry areas, offices, and the parking lot are finishing up.

Students at Gastineau Elementary will start the new school year with a renovated playground.

School district chief of staff Kristin Bartlett says students had a big role in planning the project.

“Last year during the school year, there were posters up around the school that had drawings of what they could expect to see and they had input into what they wanted to see in their playground. So, it shouldn’t be a surprise to most students because they’ve been excited about it because they’ve been involved in the process.”

Student enrollment is still not complete but Bartlett says it’s projected to be 4,936 for the whole district. That includes six elementary schools, one charter school, two middle schools, and three high schools. Projected enrollment for the district’s home school program is 70; for the integrated pre-school program, it’s 60.

Thunder Mountain High School had more students than Juneau-Douglas High School last year, and Bartlett expects that trend to continue this year.

The school district welcomes new administrators and 34 brand new teachers.

Former JDHS assistant principal Paula Casperson is now the school’s principal, and past English teacher Kristy Germain moves into the assistant principal position. Kristin Garot is the new principal at Yaakoosge Daakahidi High School. Garot has previously taught at the other two high schools. And Riverbend Elementary will also start the school year with a new leader. Former Harborview Elementary principal Suzie Cary will lead the school for one year as interim principal.

First day of school for grades 1 through 12 is Tuesday, kindergarten starts Thursday, and integrated preschool begins the following Tuesday, August 27.

Bus schedules, lunch menus, and open house dates can all be found at


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