Superintendent’s Corner

August 21, 2017


Dear GCSD Families and Community Members:

Today marks our first day of classes in Galena. All of our programs are doing very well. Both of our school choice options (IDEA and GILA) are experiencing an increase in student enrollment. Our community school’s (Sidney C. Huntington School) enrollment numbers remain consistent with recent years. Upshot, GCSD’s enrollment is extremely healthy. GCSD is anticipating, once again, our largest enrollment district-wide increasing our enrollment numbers from last year. The continued increase in our enrollment numbers speaks volumes to the quality of services we are providing our families statewide, and more importantly the variety of educational options we provide for families to determine the most appropriate educational plan for their students. Good things are happening district-wide.

During the August 16, 2017 GCSD School Board meeting, the GCSD Board of Trustees approved the district’s six-year capital improvement plan. The number one project on this list continues to be the remodel of the GILA Headquarters Building into a state of an art math and science facility. GCSD will submit an application to the Department of Education and Early Development’s Major Maintenance Capital Improvement Project grant program on September 1 for potential funding for this project. Furthermore, GCSD and the City of Galena continue to invest in the infrastructure located at the former Galena Air Force Base that now houses our GILA campus. During the summer of 2017, GCSD upgraded the heat and ventilation systems, upgraded all windows to triple-paned fiberglass windows, and installed new hallway carpet in our student residence hall, Ptarmigan Hall. We are excited about the enhancements to this building that improves the educational context we provide our boarding school students. The City of Galena has continued their work fine-tuning the new heat system installed at the GILA campus last year that increased the energy efficiencies of our entire GILA campus. GCSD and the City of Galena are proud of the continuous improvements to our facilities. These improvements allow greater utilization of these buildings and supports the district’s educational mission.

Furthermore, during the August 16, 2017 School Board work session, the GCSD Board of Trustees reviewed district summaries and school summaries for the PEAKs English/language arts, math, and science assessments that were administered last spring. It is important to remember that this was the first time these new assessments were administered and should not be compared to the “old” Standards Based Assessments (SBAs) or the Alaska Measures of Progress (AMP) tests that were previously administered by the state as our statewide system assessment. GCSD will use these assessments as a starting point to determine areas within our English/language arts, math, and science curricula that provide data points worthy of celebration and conversely data points that provide an opportunity for improvement. Outlined below is a quick synopsis of the results.

Assessment GCSD % Proficient GCSD % Advanced State % Proficient State % Advance
ELA 42.1 11.7 30.6 7.7
Math 20.1 1.9 27.8 3.9
Science 37.5 25.3 26.5 19.9

At this time, the state has only released the district and school summaries. Each of our student’s individual reports will be made available in early September. GCSD will share those individual student reports immediately upon our receipt. Additional information about each of our school’s performance on the PEAKs assessments will also be available shortly. If you would like to discuss your school’s results, please contact the building principal.

In closing, I want to thank all of our families for allowing GCSD to work with your students. The district is extremely proud of the educational services we provide families statewide and we could not do it without your input and guidance. Thank you for that support. Please contact me at the phone number above or the email address below if you would like to discuss any aspect of this letter in greater detail, or if you would like more information on any district initiative.


Chris Reitan, GCSD Superintendent


Chris Reitan, GCSD Superintendent


Letters from the Superintendent

 GCSD August 2017 Parent Letter 05/12/2017
 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