Superintendent's Corner

December 19, 2016


Dear GCSD Families and Community Members:

The end of the first semester of the school year is in our sights, and we are all finalizing our holiday plans and making plans for the spring semester.  As GCSD prepares for the spring semester, it’s important for our families to be aware of a couple of changes on the horizon.


First, on December 1, 2016, the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development officially announced that Data Recognition Corporation (DRC) has been selected as the state’s test vendor for English language arts, mathematics, and science standardized assessments.  These assessments will be administered during the spring of 2017.  Students will take the English language arts and mathematics assessments from grades 3 through 10 and the science assessments in grades 4, 8 and 10.  DRC will be very familiar to many of our families.  They were Alaska’s test vendor from 2005 through 2014, administering the “old” Standards Based Assessments (SBAs) and High School Graduation Qualifying Exam (HSGQE) assessments.  DRC will provide either a paper/pencil assessment or an electronic-based assessment.  GCSD will participate in the paper/pencil assessment option for 2017. After testing this spring, we will analyze how the electronic-based assessment worked in other parts of the state before making a determination if this option will serve our SHS, GILA, or IDEA programs in the future.
Second, during the December 14, 2016 GCSD School Board meeting, the GCSD Board of Trustees approved for parent use the GCSD Activity Withdrawal Form and the GCSD Standardized Testing Withdrawal Form.  During the spring 2016 legislative session, the Alaska legislature passed House Bill (HB) 156.  HB 156 recognizes the authority of parents and allows parents to withdraw their child(ren) from a state-required standards-based assessment and also withdraw their child(ren) from an activity, class, or program.  Families can access these two forms at  If you have questions about either of these two forms, please do not hesitate to call your site administrator to discuss in further detail. 

Finally, GCSD wishes all of our families and students a very happy holiday season.  GCSD is extremely proud of all that we can offer our families and students.  We have much to celebrate from the first semester, and we look forward to continuing to grow our relationships with all of the families and students that we are privileged to serve.

Have a wonderful holiday season.

Yours in education,


Chris Reitan, GCSD Superintendent                                                             


Letters from the Superintendent

December 19th 2016 Parent Letter 12/19/2016  
November 18th 2016 Parent Letter 11/18/2016  
October 20th 2016 Parent Letter 10/20/2016  
September 15th 2016 Parent Letter 09/15/2016  
July 22nd 2016 Parent Letter 07/22/2016  
May 2nd 2016 Parent Letter 05/02/2016  
April 4th 2016 Parent Letter 04/04/2016  
February 19th 2016 Parent Letter 02/19/2016  
January 22nd 2016 Parent Letter 01/22/2016  
November 24 2015 Parent Letter 11/24/2015  
November 2 2015 Parent Letter 11/02/2015  
October 14 2014 Parent Letter 10/14/2015  
September 19 2015 Parent Letter 09/19/2015  
August Letter to the Parents 08/21/2015  
June Letters to the Parents 06/04/2015  
April Letter to the Parents 04/20/2015  
March Letter to the Parents 03/20/2015  
February Letter to the Parents 02/25/2015  
January Letter to the Parents 01/25/2015  
GCSD Family and Community Letter 11/24/2014  
October Parent Letter 10/20/2014  
Sepember Newsletter 09/26/2014  
Beginning of the school year letter 08/29/2014  
June Parent Letter 06/10/2014  
May Parent Letter 05/02/2014  
Strategic Plan Parent Letter 03/14/2014  
District Happenings 02/20/2014  
GCSD Strategic Plan Stakeholder Letter 01/09/2014  
Holiday 2013 Letter 12/18/2013  
GCSD Strategic Plan 11/13/2013  
District Strategic Plan Parents and Guardians 11/13/2013  
GCSD Family and Community Letter 10/14/2013  
Staff Appreciation Letter 09/18/2013  
GCSD Beginning of the School Year Letter 08/27/2013  
School Calendar Modification Letter 07/03/2013  
GCSD Flood Response 06/03/2013  
GCSD Parent Letter 04/19/2013  
GCSD Feb.2013 GCSD Stakeholder Letter 02/05/2013  
GCSD New Year Letter 01/02/2013  
GCSD Infrastructure Letter 11/08/2012  
GCSD District Improvement Letter 09/25/2012