Superintendent’s Corner

February 23, 2018

Dear GCSD Families and Community Members:

February is almost over and the days are getting noticeably longer.  February typically marks the beginning point of a plethora of state academic competitions.  GCSD congratulates our Fairbanks IDEA Lego Robotics team for qualifying two-years in a row for the national competition.  GCSD would also like to recognize all of our students’ extra-curricular academic and athletic efforts.  These activities play such a critical a role in the development of well-rounded students.

This past week, our Fairbanks IDEA office hosted parents from our IDEA Parent Advisory Committees, our IDEA field reps, and IDEA administration for two days of meetings. This event is an important one for the district because it provides some of our IDEA parents a window into our district operations and allows them the opportunity to gain a broader perspective of the different options GCSD offers our families and students statewide. This visit is also special because it provides an opportunity for our IDEA parents to provide guidance and recommendations for the district to consider to improve the services we provide our families.

Earlier this month, GCSD school board members and administration visited Juneau and met with the Department of Education and Early Development and members of the House and Senate Finance Committees. Once again, the state’s budget is the primary concern of our legislators and is driving the majority of the discussions in Juneau. Our focus for our legislative visits was three-fold:

  • Inform key members of House and Senate Finance about the importance of DEED’s Major Maintenance and School Construction grant programs and the need to protect funding for capital projects.
  • Update our legislators about the status of the community’s wood biomass boiler and the importance for wood to be considered as an option for the state’s bulk fuel loan program.
  • Thank them for their continued support of the school choice options GCSD offers families across the state.

Finally, during the February 21, 2018 GCSD School Board meeting, the GCSD School Board took action on a number of items. Most notably was the board’s decision to move forward with an internal district search option facilitated by the Association of Alaska School Boards to support the GCSD School Board’s responsibility for selecting the next superintendent of the district. The Board also approved a fee proposal from Architects Alaska to evaluate GILA’s Composite Building to assess its condition and make recommendations for improvements to its energy efficiency. This work will provide the foundation for the district’s development of a Major Maintenance grant application with the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development. In addition, the GCSD Board approved a three-year lease agreement with Gana-A’Yoo to lease Gana-A’Yoo’s apartment complex. The district is extremely grateful for our partnership with Gana-A’Yoo because this lease provides housing options for new district employees transitioning into Galena. It also supports the district’s efforts to ensure we have the highest quality of people working with our students.

In closing, if there is additional information that I can share about any of the items noted in this letter, please don’t hesitate to contact me at the phone number at the top of this letter or the email address below. Enjoy the longer days.

Yours in education,


Chris Reitan, GCSD Superintendent



Letters from the Superintendent

 February 2018 Parent Letter 02/23/2018
January 2018 Parent Letter 01/26/2018
 December 2017 Parent Letter 12/15/2017
November 2017 Parent Letter 11/21/2017
GCSD October 2017 Parent Letter 10/05/2017
September 5 2017 Stakeholder Strategic Plan Letter and Draft 2018-20 Strategic Plan 09/05/2017
 GCSD August 2017 Parent Letter 08/12/2017
 GCSD May 2017 Family Letter 05/12/2017
 GCSD April 2017 Family Letter 04/24/2017
 GCSD Strategic Plan Stakeholder Survey Letter 04/17/2017
 March 2017 Parent Letter 03/21/2017
 February 2017 Parent Letter 02/20/2017
 January 2017 Parent Letter 01/20/2017
 December 2016 Parent Letter 12/19/2016
 November 2016 Parent Letter 11/18/2016
 October 2016 Parent Letter 10/20/2016
 September 2016 Parent Letter 09/15/2016