Friday, December 9, 2011

Barrow High School

One of the reasons I wanted to travel to Barrow before Steve Culbertson retired was that I wanted to visit the North Slope Borough School District. It really allowed me as a retired teacher to learn about education "on the slope" and among the Inupiat Eskimos.
Barrow High School placed second in their division in the Alaska State High School Football Championship this fall. The season is in August and September, and someone is at each of the corners of the field with a rifle to watch for polar bears! They play on blue artificial turf.
 What a beautiful mural in the hallway of Barrow High School.
 M.J. allowed me to sit in on her sophomore English classes. In Barrow about 65% of the students are Inupiat. Others are Filipino, Hispanic, African American, and Caucasian.
 They were doing Daily Oral Language just like I did in my classroom! Every classroom is outfitted with wireless Internet and an LCD projector. Students are assigned laptops, but they are kept at school after someone wanted to test the Kevlar covers and shot one.

 M.J. showed a photo of her son who is a cowboy working on a Colorado ranch.
 The students were studying poetry with the Poetry Out Loud website as a source in addition to their literature textbooks.

Being able to visit the high school really was a "plus" for me. While I was in the English classroom, Carl was in the social studies classes presenting his Vietnam slides. Students didn't have any idea what the draft was, and the high school principal told them that it was like signing up for Selective Service today. It was comical that when she said that if you don't sign up, you cannot get your Alaska Permanent Fund Dividends (money from Alaskan oil) nor their Native Corporation Dividends. One boy wanted to know if he could sign up right then!

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