Stories about education.

Lower Kuskokwim School District

On June 2, the Lower Kuskokwim School District Board extended superintendent Kimberly Hankins’ contract by one year. She will now serve as superintendent until at least the summer of 2024. 

Administration for Native Americans

The Administration for Native Americans wants to help Alaskan tribes thrive. The agency has funds to help tribes in six areas that include everything from language development to environmental issues, planning, and administrative help.

LA Johnson / NPR

While the COVID-19 pandemic and remote schooling created difficulties for the KYUK Media Ready interns, it did not stop them from creating award-winning radio content. On May 9, NPR announced that KYUK interns Kaylee King of Mekoryuk, Jamin Crow of Bethel, and Ethan Lincoln of Toksook Bay were selected as finalists in the 2021 NPR Student Podcast Challenge. The interns’ podcast, titled “Y-K Delta,” was chosen as a top 15 finalist from over 2,600 submissions.


Second grade teacher Jenna Nadine works in her empty classroom on the first day of school at Mikelnguut Elitnaurviat.
Katie Basile / KYUK

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic wreaking havoc on the last school year, the Lower Kuskokwim School District has fewer teachers leaving this year than in the recent past.

Katie Basile / KYUK

This story was updated May 2 with more information on LKSD's plans for the upcoming school year.

Some families in Bethel are considering moving if the next school year looks similar to this one. On April 29, 18 parents, teachers, and students, nearly all from Bethel, called into the Lower Kuskokwim School District board meeting. They pleaded with the district to allow students to return to in-person school five days a week, and for sports to resume. The district is taking action to meet those demands.

2020 and 2021 UAF Kuskokwim Campus graduates celebrate their commencement on April 30, 2021 at the Yupiit Piciryarait Cultural Center in Bethel, Alaska.
Cindy Andrecheck

The UAF Kuskokwim Campus in Bethel is celebrating its commencement ceremony virtually. The graduation will be twice as large as usual, because pandemic precautions cancelled last year’s graduation. On April 30 the campus is recognizing the class of 2020 and 2021.

Dean Swope / KYUK

On April 26, the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation said that Y-K Delta students in all grades can return to in-person learning as long as students maintain proper physical distancing. In updated guidance to schools, YKHC said that students could return to school, even in areas where there is “high transmission” of COVID-19. 

Angie Alston

Competitors had a tough time getting to the Yup’ik and Inupiaq Statewide Spelling Bee this year, having to overcome the pandemic and weather just to attend. The competition did have fewer participants due to COVID-19, and a three-day whiteout almost kept one village from making an appearance. But the statewide event began just a little later than planned, starting in the evening instead of the morning.

Michael Ulroan / ANSEP

The Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program, or ANSEP, is collaborating with the Lower Kuskokwim School District and University of Alaska Fairbanks, Kuskokwim Campus to create a permanent Acceleration Academy at Bethel Regional High School. Enrollment for the program, which enables students to study college classes while in high school, is open now. Michael Ulroan, with ANSEP, said that the program could save as much as $75,000 in college costs for students.

Max Dan

It’s been 10 years since the first Statewide Yup’ik Spelling Bee was held, and it will expand to include Inupiat spellers on April 17. Freda Dan, who organized the first Yup’ik Spelling Bee, said that the Inupiaq competition is the result of the efforts of one community: Brevig Mission.