As the days become shorter and the auroras get brighter, it serves to remind that fall is near and Skagway students will be returning to school soon. The first day of school is Aug. 16 and Superintendent Dr. Josh Coughran said he’s excited to have the kids back in the building.

“We have new paint on the walls, there’s [a] new floor in the multipurpose room, new design for the gym, as well,” Coughran said.

The School Board is planning on having an open house sometime in September, Coughran said.

Along with hiring new staff members, the school will also be adopting a new social studies curriculum this year and Coughran said he’d like to work on defining the music curriculum.

“I think in terms of staff development we’re going to be doing a lot of heavy lifting around prioritizing standards, creating proficiency scales for those standards, and then aligning assessments with those proficiency scales,” Coughran said.

A big change parents and students can already utilize is the school’s new website. Kaylie O’Daniel, administrative assistant to the superintendent and School Board, has been building a new website since January, working with a company called SchoolBlocks.

“When we were wanting to do a new website, I think our main thing was we wanted it to be super user-friendly,” O’Daniel said.

They received feedback from parents about what they access the most. O’Daniel said many parents mentioned the lunch menu, so she put it on the front page.

O’Daniel said she also wanted to show off the school’s personality by adding photos of their students. She hopes to update the website often.

“What’s nice about the program is I can change whatever I want, whenever I want,” O’Daniel said.