What’s happening 8-28-17

Welcome to the 2017-2018 Connections School year! Once a week we like to email our families with updates, information and activities happening in our Connections program. The emails will also be available on our website for reference (http://connections.blogs.kpbsd.k12.ak.us/ ) and/or our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Connections-Homeschool-120592904712890/ ).  Please feel free to contact us for more information and we look forward to the school year!

Dates To Remember:

· 08/28 to 09/15 – EdPerformance Testing Grades 6-8 (instructions below)
· 08/31 – Homer Office: Back to School Beach Party 12:00-2:00pm
· 08/30 –  Auditions for Rodger and Hammerstein’s Cinderella for 9th grade (more info below)
· 09/04 – Labor Day – Office Closed
· 09/06, 09/07 and 09/08 Seward Office: AIMS Web K – 5th Grade (more info below)
· 09/07 – Yukon Island Kayak Trip – Homer
· 09/08 – 2nd Yukon Island Kayak Trip – Homer
· 09/14 – (DATE CHANGE) Soldotna Open House @ Soldotna Office 1-3pm (more info below)
· 09/12 – Soldotna Office: AIMS Web K – 5th Grade 8:30-4:00 (more info below)
· 09/15 – Deadline to sign up for the PSAT (HOMER & SOLDOTNA OFFICE!)
· 09/21 – Homer School Pictures @ Paul Banks Elementary 1-3pm
· 09/26 – First day of homeschool open gym @ Kenai Rec 12pm-2pm
· 09/27 – Soldotna School Pictures – 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm @ Borough Building: Assembly Room
· 10/06 – Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center Field Trip
· 10/11 – PSAT for 10th & 11th Grade @ Soldotna Connections Office (more info below)

Fall Musical: Cinderella:

Kent Peterson and Sara Erfurth are putting on the fall musical, Rodger and Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Auditions for all cast members are Wednesday, August 30th at 3:00pm in the SoHi auditorium for 9th grade students. No prepared material is necessary.  All crew members should see Mr. Erfurth (NErfurth@KPBSD.k12.ak.us ) for an application.

Homer Office: Back to School Beach Party!
Back to School Beach Party in HOMER at the Bishop’s Beach Pavilion
THURSDAY AUGUST 31st 12:00pm – 2:00pm

Hello Connections Families,

Please join us at Bishop’s Beach in HOMER on THURSDAY August 31st from 12:00pm to 2:00pm for our annual BACK TO SCHOOL BEACH PARTY. Hot dogs, snacks, and drinks will be served. Fun activities including kite flying, bubbles, and badminton are planned. All homeschooling families and anyone interested in homeschooling are welcome. Make plans to attend this fun family oriented event! Younger children must be accompanied by parents. The Homer Connections staff will be there to visit with you and provide information regarding our program.

If you know anyone interested in homeschooling and wanting more information about the Connections Homeschool Program, please let them know they are also welcome.

The Homer Connections office will be closed on Thursday August 31st from 10:00am to 3:00pm so our staff can attend this event.

We’re looking forward to seeing you and your family at our Homer Back to School Beach Party!
Homer Connections Staff

EdPerformance Assessments for Grades 6-8:

The EdPerformance Assessment for grades 6-8 window is open now until September 15th. Here are the Ed Performance Testing Instructions, please complete the assessment by September 15th:

Ed Performance Testing Instructions:

1. Go to http://www.edperformance.com/
2. Click on Student Log in
3. Enter Site ID: 76-7551-2951 (have to enter dashes)
4. Choose Test Math, Reading or Language Arts)
5. Enter Student ID without beginning zero (if you need your student’s ID number, please call the office)
6. Confirm Student Name
7. Take assessment
8. Will prompt when completed to take another assessment (only need to take the Math, Reading and Language arts)
9. Let your advisor know when tests are completed and they will get you the results

Further testing information:

Ed Performance is a standards-based assessment that targets the instructional level of each student. This is accomplished by adjusting question difficulty based on previous answers. If a student answers correctly, the test will increase the item difficulty to appropriately challenge that student. If a student answers incorrectly, the test engine will decrease item difficulty to the lower level skills. This enables Ed Performance to provide an accurate evaluation of the student’s abilities, either at, above, or below grade level. If your student has already taken this assessment it will start out at their previously determined level, often leading to a shorter testing experience than the first attempt.

Most students take about one hour to complete. It may take longer than an hour for students who are advanced and continue to provide correct answers. Please note that some students; particularly advanced students may feel frustrated at some point. To determine a students’ level, some questions will need to be incorrect. It is important for you as a teacher to let your students know the test is designed to not get all answers correct. Please visit with your child and let them know how the test works. Please call your advisor if you would like more information or assistance.

For further information concerning Connections testing, please contact your advisor.

Yukon Island Kayak 3/4 Day Trip:

“Picture paddling through craggy rock arches, bald eagles flying overhead and silently watching sea otters napping in kelp beds. . . . Snowcapped mountains always in the background.”

Connections is again partnering with True North Kayak Adventures to offer a 3/4 day kayak trip around Yukon Island in Kachemak Bay! Along with learning safe paddling practices True North’s amazing guides will lead students in educational experiences including Alaskan coastal ecology, environmental responsibility, and local archaeology.

When: Thursday, September 7th and Friday, Sept 8th from 9:30 – 3:30
Who: Connections students grade 4-12

Jake and Derek from the Homer office will chaperone but parents are encouraged to come as well. (Students in grades 4-6 must have adult with them)

Where: Homer Spit with water taxi to Yukon Island
Cost: $105 (student allotments can be used, parents must pay their own way)

This includes the water taxi, kayaking, and snacks. Bring your own lunch!

Contact: Derek Bynagle (dbynagle@kpbsd.k12.ak.us) 226-1880 or sign up with your Connections advisor.

Space is limited so sign up ASAP! Parent payment may be submitted to your local advisor.

Soldotna Connections Open House!

Friday, September 8th the Soldotna Connections office will have their annual open house at the Soldotna office from 1-3pm. We will have lots of fun activities including: face painting, science experiments, cake walk and much more. We will also provide hot dogs & snacks.  All home school families are welcome so please feel free to invite other home school families to attend, the more the merrier! All children must have an adult present and we look forward to seeing everyone!

AIMS Web Assessments K-5th Grade Soldotna Office:

Soldotna Connections will be offering AIMS WEB (Math and Reading) Testing on:
· 09/12 – 8:30-4:00

Seward Connections AIMS Web schedule:
· 09/06, 09/07 and 09/08

The assessment is a brief literacy and math test for students in K-5th grade. Wendi Dutcher and Shelli Furlong will be administering the assessments at the Soldotna Connections office. Please call the Soldotna Connections office at 714-8880 to schedule your student’s appointment and in Seward please call Julie Lindquist at 224-9080.

School Pictures:

Please Note: Students HAVE to have their picture taken in order to get an ID card. Please see below for times and locations.

· 09/21 – Homer School Pictures @ Paul Banks Elementary 1-3pm
· 09/27 – Soldotna School Pictures – 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm @ Borough Building: Assembly Room

PSAT For Homer & Soldotna Office:

The Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT) is a program cosponsored by the College Board and National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). This year the test will be given on Wednesday, October 11th at the Homer & Soldotna Connections offices.  Please arrive at 8 am for an 8:30 start.

· Students wishing to take the PSAT must sign up and pay the $16 fee by September 15.  This is a non-refundable fee.

· Sophomores will benefit from the exposure to standardized timed tests.  Juniors can qualify for scholarships through the National Merit Scholarship Corporation

· Remember to Bring:
o Two #2 pencils
o An approved calculator (see website)
o Email address

If you wish to find out more about the PSAT, you may go to:



**Pick up Official Student Guide to the PSAT/NMSQT 2 weeks prior to testing***

**Access Khan Academy for free, personalized, online SAT practice https://www.khanacademy.org/sat  ***

If you have questions regarding the test, you may contact your advisor.

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