We need a health aide in our village

I’m a citizen and a council member of my village, Kalskag for many years. I’ve never seen any bad situations that really affects our town till I heard this couple times we asked…

Our health aide here in Kalskag is ready to retire and we’ve been getting health aides coming and going. They get trainings in Bethel and come home, do the job a year or so and leave. We are in desperate need of a health aide and it’s important to our people.

Right now we have one health aide and she works in the morning in Upper Kalskag and goes to Lower Kalskag in the afternoon for the rest of the day.

The thing is I’m really really bad about is our people really need a health aide, all day long ready and willing to help when needed.

One of our health aides quit years ago, then she’s been in school each week (college courses) getting health, etc. for future use.

But then, when the councils told her to apply for health aide again, she was willing to do it. But when she fill application with YKHC in Bethel she was denied.

Why is that? Whey they don’t want her to work as health aide after all she’s been doing to do just that. Serve our people. She’s been taking college courses to help her people.

We were told the person who hires and fires in YKHC doesn’t get along with her and always don’t even want to talk to her.

This person shouldn’t do this… They’re working for the people’s needs. They shouldn’t have bad feelings around their job. They’re denying us a health aide we need badly.

I wish the President and Board put their foot down and look into it. So far she tried fill out twice to be a health aide in Kalskag.

Please, Board of Directors, look into it and do what’s right for the people. Thank you kindly.

Loreen Steeves Kalskag, AK

The week starts off with a dark toll, as tax day kicks off

The beginning of the week (April 18th, 2019) proved to be quite stressful as tax day was set in motion. Many adults, and also some students, had to do their taxes.

Taxes are a financial charge imposed on a taxpayer by a governmental organization. A Bethel taxpayer said, “Each paycheck, they take out money, but I guess it’s for the better, since it helps with the community.”

People generally don’t think fondly of taxes, as they’re very tedious and time consuming. Although, it is very important to do them, because they fund public expenditures, like medicare, national security, education and more.

It largely depends on your income whether you pay taxes or not, it varies if your single or married. If you are single and under the age of 65, and your yearly income is $12,000 or more, then you have to file a tax return.

If you’re 65 or older, then that raises to a requirement of $13,600 a year, according to thestreet.com. The requirement raises broadly when you’re married, differing whether you file jointly or separately with your spouse.

A student tax payer, Brandon Berry, said, “When you have a job, you are required to pay taxes. They only take a certain percent out of it. I do not like how they can take so much out of your check. Let’s say I get $2,000. Since we are required to pay them, I would only receive like $1,400, that’s basically 30% of my check.”

As you can see, taxpayers aren’t exactly fans of the system, but taxes are one of the building blocks of this country. They help our town in many ways. So make sure to do your taxes. Tax on!

Alex Peltola, BRHS Bethel, AK

Want Improved Student Success? Address Trauma

ONE OUT OF THREE Alaska born second graders have had at least one report of harm to child protection made because of safety concerns, and TWO OUT OF THREE Alaska adults report experiencing at least one Adverse Childhood Experience (including abuse, neglect, or household dysfunction) before age 18.

These statistics, reported by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, have profound ramifications for Alaska schools. Researchers’ scientific findings from studying the brain and stress response system show that exposures to traumatic events can significantly impact a student’s ability to learn and be healthy.

While the facts about Alaskans’ exposure to trauma are grim, research also shows that there are proven remedies to counteract an overly stressful childhood. Alaska and national research indicate that specific skills taught to students can counteract the impact of trauma and change short and long-term harmful outcomes. So, there is hope.

Areas of the brain related to language and memory are impacted by high exposure to stress and trauma. Also, high stress impacts the ability to manage our emotions and keep working on a job even when things get tough. These crucial self-discipline skills are essential factors for leading successful lives.

School districts and early educators are incorporating this knowledge into the way they teach our children. They’re building on research by Nobel Prize-winning economist Dr. James Heckman, which shows that investment in quality programs to support parents of young children can be very cost effective. He reports a 13% annual return on these investments, with savings coming from increased income, reduced crime, and better health.

Dr. Heckman also states that self-discipline skills essential to success, often called social-emotional skills, can be taught. These skills make a significant difference in academics and later success. Employers agree.

Students learn social-emotional skills through strong relationships with adults. School staff members are often the ones who step forward when other adults in a child’s life cannot. For many young Alaskans, this connection is the key to academic and social success.

A recent study produced for the Association of Alaska School Boards using School Climate and Connectedness Survey results showed that whether or not students and staff “felt safe” at school was a big predictor of student academic success. This sense of safety can account for up to 25% of language test scores. That level of impact on academic learning cannot be ignored.

In a statewide survey conducted last January, Alaskans clearly stated that investment in K-12 public education is a top priority for government spending. Summary of survey results: https://aasb.org/2019-public-school-survey/

In response, our organizations have increased efforts to work collaboratively with policymakers and communities to ensure that students feel safe in their schools and communities, and have access to needed services. We’re committed to addressing issues crucial to student success by offering supports like:

Transforming Schools: A Framework for Trauma-Engaged Practice in Alaska resource manual for districts and communities available from the Association of Alaska School Boards, aasb.org

Trauma-Informed Practices professional development for educators through the Alaska Staff Development Network, asdn.org

Ed Connector interactive online portal of educational resources and research from the Coalition for Education Equity, ceequity.org

The critical work of K-12 and early childhood education cannot continue without sufficient, sustainable state funds. As the session nears its end, we urge Alaskans to support your family, friends, and neighbors who educate and care for the state’s 187,000 youth by encouraging legislators to defend education funding.

Each day, Alaska’s educators invest their time and energy in our children and their future. We owe it to them to invest in it too.

Norm Wooten, AASB Executive Director
Sarah Sledge, CEE Executive Director
Dr. Lisa Skiles Parady, ACSA Executive Director

Example: 9075434113