What’s Happening 12-16-19



Eligibility Grade Report
Connections Kids Climb
Winter Wednesday – SeaLife Center
Kenai Fjords Marine Tour
Geography Bee Toolkit


Please note the new format, all Connections students and families are welcome to join and participate in all area activities.

Did you know Connections is active on Social Media? Please take a moment to “Like” our Facebook page, and if you get a chance to share it with your friends that would be great as well! Here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/ConnectionsHomeschool/

Homer: 226-1880

Seward: 224-9035

Soldotna: 714-8880


  • 12/13 – Semester Reports Were Due
  • HOMER & SEWARD OFFICES CLOSED 12/23 to 01/05
  • SOLDOTNA OFFICE CLOSED 12/24, 12/25 & 01/01
  • 01/22 – Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Q & A Session (more info below)
  • 01/31 – Geography Bee (more info below)
  • 02/12 – UAA/Anchorage Daily News Creative Writing Contest Deadline (more info below)
  • 03/15 – Junior Duck Stamp Contest Deadline (more info below)
  • 05/04 – Kenai Fjords Marine Science Explorer Tour – Please Contact Julie Lindquist for More Details jlindquist@kpbsd.org or (907) 224-9035 (more info below and see attached flyers for details)

Free Wednesdays at SeaLife Center: November – February! 12pm – 5pm (see attached flyer for more information).

Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Q & A Session:

Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and Connections Homeschool are partnering together to provide an opportunity to visit about DVR services, answer questions, and fill out applications. Representatives of DVR will be present in the Soldotna Connections office on Wednesday, January 22nd from 10-12pm. We will live broadcast to the Homer and Seward offices so everyone has the opportunity to see and visit with the counselors. Students 16 and older with a disability and their families are encouraged to attend.

Connections Geography Bee:

Connections students grade 4-8! Come test your world knowledge by participating in the Geo Bee:

  • WHEN: Friday, January 31, 2020 @ 1:00pm
  • WHERE: Soldotna Connections Office (143 East Park Avenue, Soldotna)

Attached you will find a study guide to help you prepare. Each year thousands of schools in the United States participate in the National Geographic GeoBee using materials prepared by the National Geographic Society.  The contest motivates students to learn about the world and how it works.  Students in grades four through eight are eligible for this entertaining and challenging competition.

There are three levels of competition:  School, State, and national.  To compete for advancement from the school to the state level, the winning student at each school must take the online qualifying test. The state GeoBee champion advances to the national championship in Spring 2020.

Contact your advisor or Wendi Dutcher (wdutcher@kpbsd.org) if you have any questions regarding this or would like to participate!

37th Annual UAA/Anchorage Daily News Creative Writing Contest:

We are happy to announce that the 37th Annual UAA/Anchorage Daily News Creative Writing contest is now open for submissions. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, February 12th at 5 p.m. Submissions are judged by panels of editors, writers, teachers, and librarians. First-place winning entries are published online and will have a congratulatory ad in the printed version of Anchorage Daily News.

For more information on rules, entry form, cash prizes go to this website:


If you have questions or problems, please feel free to email creativewritingcontest@adn.com

Junior Duck Stamp Contest:

Christmas break is right around the corner and a perfect time for students to work on their Alaska Jr. Duck Stamp entries for the 2020 contest!

Alaska Jr. Duck Stamp is part of a nationwide art and design contest featuring wetlands and waterfowl as the subject.  Students pick a species of North American waterfowl to study and depict their research through art.  The Best of Show for Alaska is sent on to the national contest to compete against students from all other states and U.S territories.  There is also a Conservation Message contest as well.  There are many prizes and recognition awarded at the local level and a chance to represent Alaska in the national contest. Entries are due at the address below by March 15, 2020! For more information and a full list of rules and regulations visit the Jr. Duck website: https://www.fws.gov/birds/education/junior-duck-stamp-conservation-program/junior-duck-stamp-contest-information.php


Check out our new link for Connections events! These are community events that Connections students may be interested in!

Battle of the Books:

Calling all readers to our annual Battle of the Books club! We are looking for readers to join our Battle of the Books team. We will start meeting in November but students can get a jumpstart and begin reading the books now. Competitive teams are grades 3rd-12th. Here is the K-12 grade list: https://sites.google.com/view/akaslbattleofthebooks/home

Books can be found at the public library, some Connections offices will have copies that can be checked out or you can purchase the books using allotment funds. Contact your advisor if interested in participating in Battle of the Books:

HOMER OFFICE: 226-1880

  • Derek Bynagle 5th/6th & middle school coach
  • Cathy Wilmeth 3rd/4th grade coach
  • Joanna Fonkert K-2 coach


Beginning January 10th we will meet each Friday from 2:30-3:30 until our official battle dates.

  • 5/6 Battle of the Books- February 11 at 9:00 am
  • 3/4 Battle of the Books- February 13th at 9:00 am
  • Wendi Dutcher 3rd/4th grade coach
  • Kellie Davidson 5th/6th grade coach

Kenai Fjords Marine Biology Tour:

The goal of the Marine Science Explorers Program is to provide students with an exceptional learning environment, to help students understand and appreciate the marine ecosystem in the Gulf of Alaska and inspire interest in Marine Science. During the five-hour cruise, we explore beyond the surface of the water. Students are introduced to sampling techniques and lab activities as they investigate seawater and plankton. Students observe marine mammals and seabirds in their natural habitat and consider their adaptations. In this living laboratory, students are encouraged to examine how these pieces fit together into an ecosystem concept.

The five-hour field trip will be divided between cruising Resurrection Bay and participating in four different learning stations. One instructor leads each thirty-minute station.

  • Length of Trip:  5 hours
  • Recommended ages:  Grades 3 through 8
  • Departure Information:  May 4th; 10:00am–3:00pm, Check-in 9:30. Board 9:45.
  • Please remember to: Bring brown-bag lunch, pencils and dress warmly.

For more information please contact Julie Lindquist jlindquist@kpbsd.org  or (907) 224-9035.


Homer Office – SPARC activities every Tuesday (NEW DAY ADDED) and Wednesday from 1:30 – 2:30

  • 12/13 – Semester Reports Were Due
  • 12/18 – Paper Circuits Project: Light Up Greeting Cards (more info below)
  • HOMER OFFICE CLOSED 12/23 to 01/05

Paper Circuits Project: Light Up Greeting Cards

Join the fun in learning about how circuits work. Participants will make their own simple circuit light-up card.

  • Who: Students 4th grade and up
  • When: December 18th at 10:30 AM
  • Where: Homer Back office

HOMER: Climbing at the Bay Club:

  • Who: Students in grades Kindergarten-12th grade
  • What: Learn to climb by certified belayers at The Bay Club Climbing wall. Climbing is a fun and exciting team building sport that presents both mental and physical challenges. It offers many opportunities for positive growth—whether you want to overcome a fear of heights, foster a sense of exploration, or gain strength to reach new heights, you will find rock climbing a rewarding and joyful pursuit!
  • Where: Bay Club on Kachemak Drive
  • When: Mondays from 2:30-5:30 starting November 4-December 16th (6 sessions)
    • December 9
    • December 16
  • Why: A great way to get PE credits, stay fit, opportunities for positive growth, and learn climbing techniques
  • Cost: $13/session can be reimbursed after a session with student allotment. All costs include climbing shoes, harness, and chalk.

All participants will need to fill out a waiver EVERY session

Contact Joanna Fonkert with any questions jfonkert@kpbsd.k12.ak.us


Soldotna Office – Our organized gym time meets at the Kenai Recreation Center every Tuesday from 12-2pm. All ages are welcome, this activity is free and please remember to wear non-skid sole shoes. If you have any questions you can call our office at 714-8880.

  • 12/13 – Semester Reports Were Due
  • 12/17 – Open Gym @ Kenai Rec Center 12-2pm NO ADVISORS AVAILABLE but the gym will still be open
  • SOLDOTNA OFFICE CLOSED 12/24, 12/25 & 01/01
  • 01/07 – Open Gym @ Kenai Rec Center 12-2pm NO ADVISORS AVAILABLE but the gym will still be open
  • 01/09 – Kenai Watershed Elementary event 1-3pm
  • 01/14 – Open Gym @ Kenai Rec Center 12-2pm
  • 01/23 – Kenai Watershed Middle/High School Event 1-3pm
  • 02/06 – Kenai Watershed Elementary event 1-3pm
  • 02/11 – Battle of the Books 5/6 grade meeting at 9:00am
  • 02/13 – Battle of the Books 3/4 grade meeting at 9:00am
  • 02/20 – Kenai Watershed Middle/High School Event 1-3pm
  • 02/25 – Kindergarten Round-Up! (more info below)
  • 03/24 – Kindergarten Round-Up! (more info below)
  • 04/07 – Kindergarten Round-Up! (more info below)
  • 04/21 – Kindergarten Round-Up! (more info below)

Soldotna Office – Free Tutoring:

We are very excited to have Rebecca Weaver, Assistant Professor from the Kenai Peninsula College, at the Soldotna office every Thursday from 12:00pm to 2:00pm to tutor students and parents in math, physics, chemistry, and science for free! If you are a parent or a student that needs help in any of these areas, please call us at 714-8880 to make an appointment. PLEASE NOTE: No tutoring on these dates:

12/12, 12/19, 12/26, 01/02

Connections Outdoor Club:

This month we’ve hiked Russian River Falls and learned about building campfires. Unfortunately, the icy weather is preventing outdoor activities at this time, but stay tuned for more exciting activities! All ages are welcome to attend.

Kenai Watershed Forum:

The Connections Homeschool program has partnered with the Kenai Watershed Forum to provide some exciting opportunities for our students this year. Your student can participate in lessons revolving around the healthy aquatic habitats on the peninsula. Students will have hands-on experiences with dissecting fish, collecting water samples, and much more. Below is a schedule for the events planned for the 2019-2020 school year.

  • January 9th                   Elementary event (1-3pm)
  • January 23rd                Middle/high school event (1-3pm)
  • February 6th                 Elementary event (1-3pm)
  • February 20th               Middle/high school event (1-3pm)

Battle of the Books:

Battle of the Books participants will be meeting on December 6 from 2:30-3:30.

Beginning January 10th we will meet each Friday from 2:30-3:30 until our official battle dates.

  • 5/6 Battle of the Books- February 11 at 9:00 am
  • 3/4 Battle of the Books- February 13th at 9:00 am

Kindergarten Round-Up!

Do you have a child entering kindergarten? Stop by to any or all of our round-up dates. We’ll have multiple activities to explore and we would love to share some information with you!


Free Wednesdays at the Alaska Sealife Center (until February 27) 12pm – 5pm

  • 12/18 – Holiday Fun in the Seward Connections Office! Please join us for food, fun and holiday crafts! We will be making Christmas owls as well as putting together homemade soup gifts for charity. There will be two sessions, please choose one:  10:00 – 11:30am or 1:00 – 2:30pm

RSVP appreciated: Contact Laura or Julie at 224-9035 for more information

  • 12/18 – 1st Semester Grade Reports – If you have not already turned in your grades now is the time
  • SEWARD OFFICE CLOSED 12/23 to 01/05

About Richard Bartolowits

Principal of Connections Homeschool Program Rich Bartolowits was born and raised on the Kenai Peninsula. He has been a KPBSD educator for more than 20 years. Rich enjoys fishing and has recently taken up kayak fishing for halibut and salmon. Rich joined the Connections' team for the 2015-2016 school year and continues to be impressed with the many great things homeschool families do as they take ownership of their children's learning.
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