• MSBSD SCHOOL SUPPLY LISTS

    Click on the Quick Link under "Parents" or here for your child's Back to School supply list; also available at your local stores. If you need help with school supplies, please call Families in Transition at 746-9228 or the MSBSD Warehouse at 861-5120.Visit Quick Links under "Parents" or continue here for your child's Back to School supply list, available at your local stores. If you need help with school supplies, please call Families in Transition at 746-9228 or the MSBSD Warehouse at 861-5120.

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  • MSBSD 2015-2016 REGISTRATION OPENS JUNE 1

    Online registration for all Mat-Su students, returning or new to our District, including kindergarten students,begins online June 1. Registration for all fall athletics opens July 15. Payment of all course and activity fees will also begin July 15.

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  • SUMMER BREAK

    Students, enjoy your summer! Continuing is summer school and camps and workshops, as well as the School Board and Administration beginning planning for next year. Registration opens June 1.

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  • MSBSD 2015 GRADUATIONS

    View Full Story for links to the graduation dates/times and livestreaming for graduation ceremonies for Mat-Su Borough schools. Congratulations Graduates of the Class of 2015!

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  • ELEMENTARY REPORT CARD SURVEY

    For parents, the District invites you to share your experience with the Standards-Aligned Report Cards. A survey is available through May 15th...click more of the story for the survey link.

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  • ALASKA MEASURES OF PROGRESS (AMP)

    AMP is aligned to the State of Alaska English language arts and math standards which were adopted in 2012. Click full story to read a letter to Parents from DEED Commissioner, Mike Hanley, as well as download an Assessment Calendar and other information.

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  • MSBSD SUMMER STUDENT WORKER APPLICATIONS OPEN

    The 2015 Student Summer Worker application period is available on Applitrack. Four work crews will be hired during the interview process. The crews will consist of: Building Maintenance and Repairs, Curb Appeal (landscaping), Lawns, and Curb Appeal (parking lot improvements). Further information will be available soon. Please contact the CTE Department at 746-9274 with any questions. Click for links...

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  • SPRING BREAK: MARCH 9-13. NO SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS FRI., MARCH 6

    Mat-Su schools celebrate Spring Break next week, kicking off this Friday with no school for students (work day for teachers). If your child attends a non-traditional school, you will follow your school's calendar.

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  • 2016 BUDGET SURVEY NOW FEBRUARY 28

    The District sincerely appreciates your input in the budget process as we continue the focus on increasing student learning and achievement. Click full story for survey link and link to a NEW budget video from a student's perspective.

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  • PARENT/TEACHER CONFERENCES SET FOR FEB. 16 AND 17. NO SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS

    MSBSD schools will be conducting P/T Conferences on Mon. and Tues., Feb. 16 and 17. No school for students. If your child attends a non-traditional Mat-Su school, you will follow your school's calendar.

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  • REDINGTON AND DENA'INA PROPOSED BOUNDARIES OPEN HOUSE

    At 5:30 p.m., January 21, MSBSD Admin. Building in Palmer: See the proposed boundary maps, meet the demographer and ask questions, talk with the new principal for Redington, and hear the demographer's presentation to the School Board during the regular meeting.

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  • 2015-2016 CALENDAR NOW AVAILABLE

    The MSBSD School Board has approved the 2015-2016 School Year Calendar. Community input included an online survey with over 3500 responses and public comment.

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  • MSBSD ENANUAQ PROGRAMS HOSTS FAMILY NIGHTS

    MSBSD Enanuaq Preschool Program is academic center-based for three and four-year-old Alaska Native and Native American children to prepare them for kindergarten readiness. There are sessions at Wasilla High and Burchell High. The high school program is designed to support supplemental educational learning opportunities through the federally funded Alaska Native Education Program. The grant expires in FY15.

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  • NOVEMBER IS ALASKA NATIVE HERITAGE MONTH

    "...American Indians and Alaska Natives helped build the very fabric of America. Today, their spirit and many contributions continue to enrich our communities and strengthen our country." President Barack Obama.

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  • MSBSD NEW CALENDAR SURVEY NOW THROUGH NOV. 10

    Did you vote in the first fall calendar survey? Even if you did vote, you have one more opportunity to voice your opinion. The three-year calendar approval survey is open October 31 through November 10.

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  • PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCES--OCTOBER 30 AND 31

    Thursday and Friday, October 30 and 31, are Parent/Teacher Conference Days in the MSBSD. Please check with your school for schedules. If your child attends a non-traditional Mat-Su school, follow your school's calendar. For traditional schools, no school for students on these two days.

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        Welcome

        WelcomeTo Beryozova 
        29297 Beryozova Road Willow AK  99688 Ph: (907) 495-9390 Fx: (907) 495-2505
        Mailing address: 501 N Gulkana Palmer, AK 99645
         
         

        School picture

         
         
        Carl Chamblee - Principal
         
        Carl Chamblee
         
         
        Meghan McCarthy-Grant - Assistant Principal
         
        Meghan McCarthy-Grant
         
         
        School in Winter
         
         

        Beryozova  School Sign

        School name in Cyrillic and basic Latin alphabet

        Beryozova Announcements

        •    Beryozova School 2015

          WILLOW — Performance records have shown that neither traditional beliefs of Beryozova School nor their separation from traditional public schools in the Mat-Su Valley have stopped them from being successful.

          Beryozova School serves what is known as an “Old Believer” community of families with Russian heritage, and was recently named a nation Title I Distinguished School by the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development (DEED). Mat-Su Borough School District Superintendent Dr. Deena Paramo also recognized Beryozova as one of the year’s highest performing schools in a Frontiersman column last month.

          “We’ve got some very high achieving kids here,” said first-year principal Carl Chamblee. “They’re not just going through the motions, they’re focused on learning.”

          Officially, Chamblee is the school district’s Federal Programs Director, and through his management of programs like English Language Learners he has come to serve Beryozova.

          The teachers, however, really run the school on a day-to-day basis, he said.

          Elementary school teacher Margaret Brockman has lived and taught in the Old Believer community in Willow for about 25 years, and though she doesn’t speak more than a few words of Russian — language aide Mary Amaryan takes care of that — she knows how to keep her students on task.

          The first Russian teacher at the school, Olympiada Langlois, reminded her of one reason why.

          “She always said to me, from the very beginning, ‘it’s a good thing you don’t know any Russian, because then the students have to speak to you in English, and they have to learn English fast,’” Brockman said.

          With as many students in Kindergarten through 12th grade as one might find in a typical public high school’s class — there are just 19 at Beryozova this year — perhaps there’s a higher sense of accountability, too.

          In becoming a “distinguished” school, Beryozova has demonstrated “exceptional student performance for two or more consecutive years,” according to a December press release. However, achievement has been fairly high throughout the last 20 years, according to Brockman’s records. Between 1998 and 2008, Beryozova had 35 seniors, 30 of whom graduated and either went to work or pursued higher education. (The trend has essentially continued in the last few years, though records are still being compiled.)

          Last school year, Beryozova received a five-star rating and score of 97.73 in the Alaska School Performance Index, which measures and compares components such as academic achievement, school progress, attendance rate, and college/career readiness.

          The school also has two Talented and Gifted, or TAG, students, a school district designation for elementary school students in second through fifth grade who regularly score in the 95th percentile on district-administered assessments in reading, writing and math. According to Brockman, most schools with a student body of 300 or more only have two or three TAG students — that’s 1 percent of the population, compared with Beryozova’s 12.5 percent.

          But student success depends on more than standardized test scores and special titles. At Beryozova, the preservation of the families’ Russian culture is vital.

          Parent Julie Reutov had all eight of her children go through Beryozova. Several of her daughters went to college for things like psychology, accounting and photography, but in her mind, higher education is not the No. 1 goal.

          “Our culture is the most important thing that we don’t wanna lose,” Reutov said.

          If her children had attended traditional public schools, “losing Russian” would have been a risk, she said.

          One reason is because there are no set periods or scheduled opportunities for students with Russian heritage to study the language in Valley elementary schools. Parents would volunteer to teach it, Reutov said, but there is currently no way to fit it into a typical young student’s school-day schedule.

          Similarly, the Old Believers have some 25 to 30 holy days during the school year that would require them to miss school. They would miss about one sixth of the school year in holidays, and maybe more with unexpected absences like sick days.

          “Any kid that misses that much school (is) not going to do as well,” Brockman said.

          Being pulled out of school for holy days or Russian lessons would also be alienating for students. This issue of “otherness” is perhaps the most significant reason parents in the community have chosen to send their students to Beryozova, as Russian-American children have historically been picked on for their dress, hairstyles, food and language in traditional public schools.

          “Nobody can change the situation, if you’re the minority, people are picking on you no matter where you are,” Brockman said. “Even though it might even be in little ways and when nobody’s looking and stuff, there’s still a whole feeling of being put down when you’re not the majority.”

          Reutov agreed that, while the situation may be a bit better these days, parents are still concerned about their children and grandchildren going to public schools and growing up without Russian.

          That’s not to say the community has completely isolated themselves, however. Reutov and Brockman both spoke of former students who went on to work regular jobs in construction, at restaurants and in offices, and have come to understand and appreciate American culture and customs as adults.

          The younger children also have exposure to “the outside world.” As a school with TAG students, Beryozova has been provided with a little funding and extra opportunities to host clubs and extracurricular activities such as chess, Science Olympiad, a robotics workshop, embroidery, Math Derby and more. By selling their embroidered works, too, the children have raised enough money to go on a field trip to Rock-On Climbing Gym and North Bowl in Wasilla.

          In this way, perhaps, the Old Believers get the best of both worlds.

          “By me having the school out here, I (can) adapt everything to fit them, including their holy days,” Brockman said.

          High school teacher Simon Nashold also pointed out that “isolating” themselves, to some degree, is part of the reason Old Believer communities have survived.

          “They came here kinda to get away and be in their own area, have their own place where they could live and worship the way that they want to. So, in terms of outside influence and being sheltered, well, that’s part of the culture,” he said. “It’s intentional.”

          To read a brief history of the school, visit matsuk12.us/domain/210 .

          Contact Caitlin Skvorc at 352-2266 or caitlin.skvorc@frontiersman.com.

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        District News

        • Focusing on academic success, career readiness, higher education, and industry/technical training, Career and Technical Education is highly valued and counted upon to meet District student needs. Read more, including the Proclamation from Governor Walker.
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        • Arrow 2014-2015 SCHOOL REGISTRATION INFORMATION
          For information on School Registration visit MSBSD iEnroll
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        • Arrow MSBSD START TIMES - 2014-2015
          School start and end times will remain the same for the 2014-2015 school year. Elementary schools time is 9:15 to 3:45, and middle/secondary schools time is 7:45 to 2:15. There are exceptions for northern schools: Willow start time is 8:20 and dismissal at 3:00 on M, Tu, Th, Fri, and dismissal at 1:40 on Wed. Talkeetna begins at 8:30 with dismissal at 3:00 on M, Tu, Th, Fri, and dismissal on Wednesdays at 1:40. Trapper Creek begins at 8:30 and dismissal at 3:00. Su Valley Jr/Sr High School begins at 8:30 and dismissal is at 2:54. Also, if your child attends one of our six charter schools, confirm the time with your school.
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        • Arrow SCHOOL SUPPLY LISTS
          Click here for 2014-2015 School Supply Lists
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        • Arrow HELP MSBSD "STUFF THE BUS"
          School is two weeks away and many students in the Mat-Su Valley do not have the resources they need for their first day of school. That’s exactly what Stuff the Bus is aiming to help with. July 31 is a Day of Action! Partnering with United Way of Mat-Su, the MSBSD will be filling backpacks in the old Carrs parking lot in Palmer, providing school supplies for Valley kids. The following items are needed for donations; backpacks, spiral notebooks, pencils,and pens. Families needing school supplies for their students can call746-9239 for more information.
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        • Arrow MSBSD GOES MOBILE!
          Click here for more information on the MSBSD mobile app, how to get started, and downloading the app. You may also download and read a mobile Fact Sheet or print it for easy reference.  Go mobile with the MSBSD! at www.matsuk12.us/mobile.
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        • Arrow MSBSD EMPLOYEE DISCOUNTS ON TECHNOLOGY!
          All MSBSD Employees can take advantage of the Dell MPP program, Apple Employee Purchase Program and Microsoft Home Use Program.  Click here to find out more! 
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        • Arrow ONLINE ABSENCE REPORTING AVAILABLE ON iParent
          Parents—Online Absence Reporting. Parents now have a method to report online student absences. A written note or telephone call is still acceptable, but online reporting is easy through iParent.
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        Beryozova Events

        As our school follows the traditional calendar, please use this calendar