Standard 2

Governance and Leadership

The school operates under governance and leadership that promote and support student performance and school effectiveness. 

To access the Soldotna High School Faculty presentation for Standard 2 click Standard 2 Video.


The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District (KPBSD) provides comprehensive policies and practices that clearly outline how KPBSD schools will effectively operate. KPBSD Board of Education maintains a comprehensive website that establishes specific guidelines for all stakeholders and provides interested parties access to all KPBSD manuals and policies. In addition to this website, KPBSD mandates that all teachers, staff, students, parents and guardians be familiar with the KPBSD Parent/Student Handbook, which provides information and regulations relevant to all stakeholders.


Our governing body, KPBSD, operates responsibly and functions effectively. KPBSD has implemented self-evaluations as well as optional evaluations to be used by members of the community. Both of these evaluations are available on the district website for teachers, parents, or other community members to evaluate the school board.

Regarding policies and practices for the oversight of fiscal management, while the school board is accountable for all KPBSD funds, the superintendent is charged with the administration of the these funds (see BP 3000). The Soldotna High School principal then assumes responsibility for preparing and monitoring an expenditures plan “in close cooperation with the superintendent, associate superintendent and executive directors.”  (See Soldotna High-Principal)

Roles and responsibilities of the KPBSD Board of Education members are located within the KPBSD Policy Manual. These policies include a variety of rules and regulations set in place for Board Members. The Policy Manual begins with stating roles of the Board and Board Members, specifically the powers, purposes and duties thereof. There is also a Code of Ethics in the KPBSD Policy Manual that is specific to the KPBSD Board of Education; it includes topics such as conflict of interest, transparency, and independent judgment. Trainings are held throughout the year to provide professional development curriculum to Board Members. These trainings help define the roles and responsibilities of the governing body and its individual members.

All members of the board sign an oath of office stating that they comply with all KPBSD policies, procedures, laws and regulations, and will function as a cohesive unit for the benefit of student learning.


The governing body of Soldotna High School ensures that school leadership has the autonomy to meet goals for achievement and instruction and to manage day-to-day operations effectively. KPBSD goals 1.4, 1.5, 2.6 and 3.1 are the School Improvement Plan (SIP) goals chosen by Soldotna High School. Soldotna High School maintains its autonomy by setting its own meeting times and agendas, along with receiving input from stakeholders and community members (See SoHi Site-Based Agenda, PTSA Principals Report, Staff Meeting SOHI 2013-14, and SOHI 2013-14 SLT). Soldotna High School also has specific roles for administration (See Soldotna High-Principal and Soldotna High Assistant Principal).


KPBSD and Soldotna High School leadership and staff foster a culture consistent with the school’s purpose and direction. Every year the Soldotna High School leaders form a Staff Development Committee. The committee is responsible for aligning the in-service activities with the current school goals (SoHi Faculty Handbook 13-14 pages 6 and 16). At the beginning of every school year, the Soldotna High School staff discusses and agrees on the school goals for the upcoming year (Staff Meeting SOHI 2013-14).

Soldotna High School leaders actively support innovation and collaboration through a variety of techniques. Teachers are given time to work in their Soldotna Learning Teams (SLTs), during in-service and collaboration days (SoHi Early Release Sept 18th). The SLTs include members from common academic areas. Each SLT focuses on developing strategies to improve student engagement and test scores. Within the SLT groups, various members also create and implement Teacher Enrichment Pathways (TEPs) to meet the group goals (Merkes-Edwards TEP 2012-2013 and Merkes-Skjold TEP). The school leaders also support teachers in achieving Career Development Grants. Every two years, teachers in the district can use the $2,500 grant to attend an educational experience that will improve KPBSD student programs or services offered during the instructional day (Certified Grant Application).

Soldotna High School teachers align their curriculum to meet KPBSD Curriculum Standards. The language arts and mathematics departments currently give common quarterly assessments which are aligned with the current standards (Geo 1st Quarter Assessment). The assessment scores are recorded for each student on PowerSchool. Many Soldotna High School teachers were part of the curriculum committees responsible for developing the current KPBSD curriculum  (Math Curriculum Committee). Currently, the science and social study curriculum committees are going through the revision process and developing common quarterly assessments (Social Studies Curriculum Committee).


KPBSD engages in positive relationships with the community as well as with stakeholder groups. At the district level, the Communications Department of KPBSD helps the district and the Board of Education communicate with both internal and external stakeholders and the community. The main goal of the Communications Department is to establish positive relationships and credibility between KPBSD and its stakeholders through the timely and accurate dissemination of information. At the school level, The Galaxy school newsletter is a credible source for stakeholders and the community to keep in touch with what is happening at Soldotna High School. Many meetings are held throughout the year including Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA), Site Counsel, and Soldotna Learning Teams (See Site Council Minutes and SoHi Site Council Agenda).


KPBSD Board Policy Series 5000, “Students,” mandates that all schools must have mechanisms of assessment in place to monitor and evaluate student performance as “demonstrated through classroom participation, homework and tests” (See BP 5121).

KPBSD Board Policy Series 6000, “Instruction,” and BP 4315.1 direct the school Superintendent “to evaluate the professional staff and determine the competence of other administrators to evaluate teachers whom they supervise.” Through onsite observation and evaluation, school principals can further aid certified staff in providing an equitable and challenging learning experience for all students. Under BP 4215, KPBSD employs a “continuous program of evaluation of all individuals employed by this District.” Teachers at Soldotna High School have the option of receiving a traditional principal observation evaluation or tenured teachers may opt to participate in a TEP, or Teacher Enrichment Pathways (See samples: KPBSD Evaluation System Regular Education Teachers, TEP Plan).

All Soldotna High School employees are held accountable for student learning by the yearly Alaska School Performance Index (ASPI). ASPI is Alaska’s new accountability system for schools. Soldotna High School earned a 4 star rating in the Soldotna High School ASPI Report for the 2012-2013 school year.

Soldotna High School constantly strives to improve through in-service meetings for faculty as well as mandatory and rigorous teacher evaluations throughout the school year. Opportunities for professional development are available, including grants provided by KPBSD to attend conferences and trainings.

Soldotna High School leadership and staff supervision and evaluation processes result in improved professional practices and student success. Soldotna High School accomplishes this through teacher evaluations, Teacher Enrichment Pathways (TEPs), Soldotna Learning Team (SLT) meetings, in-services for teachers to strengthen knowledge base, and our School Improvement Plan (SIP). Teacher evaluations take place twice a year by building administrators and focus on planning and preparation, classroom environments, instruction, and professional responsibilities. The results of the supervision and evaluation processes are then analyzed and discussed by the teacher and the administrator. The administrator discusses areas where the teacher could improve and offers help and resources to enhance the teacher’s progress. The evaluation process allows the teachers to grow which allows the students to succeed at the highest level (KPBSD Evaluation System Regular Education Teachers). The TEP plan is for our tenured teachers to pursue an area in which they want to improve. The TEP plan is designed for the teacher to set a goal that directly relates to a student goal for improvement (TEP Plan).

KPBSD has a manual that dictates how evaluations are to be administered. KPBSD Manual AR 4115 and BP 4315.1 cover the requirements set by KPBSD for certified teacher evaluations and the requirements for management and supervisory personnel. KPBSD also has implemented six early release days for the 2013-14 school year that will allow teachers to meet for two hours to work on enhancing our background in areas such as technology in the classroom. Soldotna High School has implemented a School Improvement Plan for FY13 and FY14 that is clearly stated in Goal 1.4 Student Engagement: “Enhance student engagement to high levels among all students by focusing on developing and carrying out individualized intervention plans for 100% of students who do not meet proficiency.” Soldotna High School plans on meeting this goal by developing long and short term intervention plans by the end of FY14. Soldotna High School also plans to utilize the KPBSD Dashboard to identify at-risk students in each advisory and to monitor all student progress through advisories, counseling, and teacher referral forms in order to develop individualized interventions during SLT meetings (School Improvement Plan). Soldotna High School is focused on evaluation processes for supervisors and teachers to expand their knowledge. This will have a direct positive impact on student learning.