Friday, December 9, 2011

Barrow Middle School

We toured Eben Hopson Middle School. Steve used to teach at the middle school before he became director of curriculum and distance learning.

This was in the afternoon—hey, the sun was going down about 2 p.m.
 Eben Hopson was an Inupiat Eskimo who fought for local control of the schools.
 The buildings are about 30 years old and have very modern amenities.
 Steve Culbertson points out the Inupiat word "ilisagvik" which means "place of learning."

 The 6th graders were reading Gary Paulsen's Dogsong.
 Every classroom has a sink.
 Notice the cart with laptop computers.
 LCD projectors are built in every classroom.

 This is the learning model being used, based on Inupiat culture.
 U.S. and Alaska flags...

 Carrels in the computer lab...
 Student computer projects are posted on the walls.
 We visited on the middle school on a weekend. Some teachers were laying out a quilt they were making for a co-worker from Minnesota (note the Vikings logo) who played guitar, interspersed with animal paws to represent Alaska.
 The middle school library...
 Steve's old culture classroom where they were learning to make thing with leather/fur and learning Inupiat stitching techniques.

 This poster shows how to sew the leather.
 A poster that names the parts of a sled.
 A poster that Steve had made with Inupiat grammar.
 The middle school gym...
Steve visits with a teacher who was using the weight room on the weekend.
 An industrial tech classroom...
The middle school band room...

What we learned was that schools are schools all over the country. However, in Barrow the population is about 65% Inupiat. The district tries to preserve the Inupiat culture by teaching it in schools.

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