News and Events of the Bering Strait School District
Saturday March 17th 2018



BSSD Students Present at AASA Conference

February 21, 2008 Update: Since the publishing of this article, I have come to find out that there was a short radio segment about our this visit. Hear the radio segment here, and learn more about Spirit of Youth here. play


Last week, six students went to Anchorage to represent the Bering Strait School District (BSSD) at the annual Alaska Association of School Administrators (AASA) conference. The AASA conference was held at the Captain Cook Hotel, and the BSSD students presented to well over 100 school district superintedents, Alaska EED program managers and other administrators. The BSSD Students 2.0 Team also maintained a booth, and gave tutorials on district technology initiatives.

This conference brings together superintendents and other administrators from all over the state, and about half of the school superintedents were interviewed by the students. These interviews will be made available this week in audio format.

“It is exciting that we were able to do this,” says BSSD Curriculum Director Greg Johnson, “They represented our district, and presented on the ways the educational technologies that we use impact them as students.”

Lorrena Katcheak from Stebbins, Billi Miller from Teller, Kinik Nakak from St. Michael, and Hunter Dill, Mia Concilus and Austen Erickson from Unalakleet were picked for this trip because of their experience with BSSD’s technology programs.

“These students were chosen because they have been highly involved,” said Greg, “they have shown that they have an advanced aptitude in the particular programs that we will be showcasing this year.” These programs include DART, Student Broadcasting, blogging, wiki, and StraitTalk.

The students did a great job under a tight timeline, and were successful in conveying how BSSD uses technology in ways that impact instruction.


Be Famous

The 2007 Insomnia Film Festival approaches. Anyone wanting to participate go to and register.

Talk to classmates or teachers and see if you can work together on this project and have it help you pass standards. The criteria for the film will be announced in two weeks, and you will have one day to plan, shoot, edit, and submit your movie.

See website for details, and leave comments if you are interested. Maybe someone else will see your comment and then you can work together.


8th Annual Kingikmiut Dance Festival

The dance festival this year was intriguing. The drums were loud and the drummers sang until they lost their voices. Groups from Little Diomede, Teller, King Island, Point Hope, Brevig Mission, Anchorage and Wales attended.All the drummers and dancers were nervous. You could tell because some were fidgeting, some were sweating, and some drummers were not as loud as the others, but they did well. Sometimes the dancers would smile when they made a mistake.

The most popular dance was the Polar Bear Dance. All seven dance groups knew the song and dance. Stories are told by the movements and gestures that the dancer does. For the Polar Bear Dance, movements tell how big it is, how great it is and how it walks.

One dance I will always remember is the story of the Ladies Dance. It tells the story of a beautiful young woman who has a beautiful kuspuk, and she is out walking. She sees a man and tells him to come over, but right when he gets close she sees he is too ugly and she tells him to go away.

Of all the dance groups, I like Diomede the best. The reason is because they had a lot of elders involved. From the elders we can learn more and the right way to dance. Another reason is that I have relatives from Diomede and it was good to see them again.

Seeing other groups dance is so exciting not to mention educational. I hope to be here for more festivals and see more different villages participate.

Written by: Marissa Oxereok, senior at Wales, Ak


Interview with Mr. Durie

Golovin students interview Australian principal Mr. Durie.

Shishmaref Has Gone You-Tube Crazy!!!

Shishmaref has opened up the wonderful world of YouTube. Angie Alston’s last period Global Studies class used YouTube to explore the different cultures mentioned in their levels four and five standards. They watched an African Kudu Hunt, Indigenous Australian dancing, and Mongolian throat singing.

After searching for Eskimo videos, the class decided they wanted to create and add their own videos. Their first attempt was to document Eskimo games. The class just finished their first three videos. Check them out and comment to show your support!


Elim Uranium Mine Student Blog

Student Letter to Governor Palin

To Governor Palin:

I’m writing to inform you on our situation, and why we don’t want it to happen. I am writing to inform you on our situation with the Triex company mining on our land for uranium. I am going to give you the information on it and the effects.

As you know uranium is a hard, silver-white, radioactive metal. It can react with cold water. In air it is coated by uranium oxide, corrupting rapidly. Steam and acids attack it. Uranium can form solid solutions and intermetallic compounds with many of the metals. Although uranium is radioactive, it is not particularly rare. It is widely spread throughout the environment and so it is impossible to shun uranium. Well on with the health effects.

People always experience exposure to a certain amount of uranium from food, air, soil and water, as it is naturally present in all these components. Food, such as root vegetables, and water will provide us with small amounts of natural uranium and we will breathe in minimal concentrations of uranium with air. The concentrations of it in seafood are usually so low that they can be safely ignored. Because uranium is a radioactive substance health effects have been researched. Scientists have detected no harmful radiation effects of natural levels of uranium. However, chemical effects may occur after the uptake of large amounts of it and these can cause health effects such as kidney disease. It can also ruin your reproductive system, give you cancer (including leukemia), and ruin your ecosystem.

Uranium will effect our air, water, animals, fish, everything. If you take out one thing or even change it a little in the ecosystem everything else will be affected by it too. While uranium itself is not particularly dangerous, some of its decay products do pose a threat, especially radon, which can build up in confined spaces such as basements. Uranium in air exists as dust that will fall into surface water, on plants or on soils through settling or rainfall. Water containing low amounts of uranium is usually safe to drink. Because of its nature, uranium is not likely to build up in fish or vegetables and uranium that is absorbed will be abolished quickly through urine and feces. We don’t want them to drill or mine where it will affect our land, animals, rivers, fish, etc. We depend on subsistence more than store bought because the prices here are ridiculous. Its like we need to be really rich to live here.

Anyway in conclusion we are against having Triex drill at Boulder Creek. I wanted to know what are you going to do about it to help us. There are a lot of other places they can mine it. I don’t want my future babies to be deformed. Thanks.

Irene Murray
Want to find out about the mine that is affecting Elim, Koyuk, Golovin, and White Mountain areas. Visit our student blog at More information will be coming as we prepare for our open house today.

Meet The New Koyuk Teacher

In Koyuk there is a new addition to the teaching staff named Joon Cross. She is our new 3rd-7th grade teacher. Her core class is grade 5-6. She moved here from the border of Navada,California. She choose Koyuk for its beautiful trees. Her goal was to work in Alaska. She enjoys the small village atmosphere and the warm community welcome that she received when she got here. Please join me in welcoming Joon to our staff.

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