Village of Beaver narrowly keeps its school, for now

The Interior village of Beaver’s school will remain open, despite a below-par student count this fall.

Download Audio

The Yukon Flats Village School District lost state funding when a 10-student minimum wasn’t met, but at a school board meeting Tuesday, village first chief Rhonda Pitka says a decision was made to continue operating the school at a reduced level, at least through next May.

Beaver - downstream of Fort Yukon, north of Fairbanks as the crow flies. Image: Google Maps.
Beaver – downstream of Fort Yukon, north of Fairbanks as the crow flies. Image: Google Maps.

“The school board voted to keep the Beaver school open for the remainder of the school year. There were a few positions that were cut. They cut instructional aides, food services, the Gwich’in language instructor, and, I believe, custodial services also,” Pitka says.

Pitka says the eliminated positions were part-time. The Beaver School’s only remaining staff member is a full-time teacher, who works with students ranging from kindergarten through high school. Pitka says the school’s status will be re-evaluated, adding that the district plans to petition the state for another head count, after coming up short last fall.

“There were three students who weren’t in Beaver at that time. They are in Beaver now. So we’re at 11 students right now.”

She says two new kindergarteners are expected to enroll next year, potentially taking the Beaver School to 13 kids, well above the required number for state funding. She says the school’s annual operating budget is about $460,000, noting that heating and other costs are high in the remote Yukon Flats village.

Previous articleWhale research center comes ashore in Southeast
Next articleSitka gets nod for ship-shape harbor
Dan Bross is a reporter at KUAC in Fairbanks.

No posts to display