Recognized as a four-time All-America City, Anchorage is a modern city surrounded by spectacular wilderness with adventures just steps from the hotel. During summer the days seem endless. Dazzling displays of flowers adorn homes and storefronts, live music fills the air, Wild Salmon on Parade sculptures appear along city blocks while kings and silvers are caught right downtown in Ship Creek. During winter Anchorage is truly a wonderland. Thousands of lights decorate downtown Anchorage and the excitement of many activities reverberates throughout the entire city.
Alaska is BIG! When planning your trip allow enough time for the region(s) you want to see and the things you want to do. All you need to do is determine what type of activities and adventures top your “must do” list and choose the region(s) that offer those experiences. Alaska offers the following and more: Sponsors Fishing » Wildlife Viewing » Adventure & Ecotourism » Back-country Experiences » Historical, Cultural & Educational Activities » Winter Activities » Flight-seeing » Sightseeing & Tours » Day Cruises » Multi-Day Cruises » Shopping » Various Activities and Equipment Rentals »
The Anchorage School District (ASD) Assessment and Evaluation Department (A&E) is responsible for administration of the state required assessments. The results of these tests are used to fulfill the Federal accountability requirements in the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) laws. The results also do the following: assess how well ASD students meet the State’s Performance Standards provide a comparison to the rest of the students in the nation support instruction in ASD classrooms guide school improvement plans The A&E department works with teachers, administrators, and other affiliates in this process. The A&E Department produces the Annual Profile of Performance, which is the ASD report to the School Board and community. The profile displays academic achievement data of Anchorage students and schools. The A&E Department provides data and research assistance to ASD departments and employees, universities, and other affiliates whose research supports the mission of the school district. The A&E department collaborates with, and relies on many sources to provide the needed information to carry out these tasks. A combined effort is required between the A&E department, ASD employees, and other A&E partners to guide district educational programs towards increased student achievement. Program Evaluation The purpose of program evaluation is to help our teachers, principals, and administrators judge the extent to which stated goals and objectives are being achieved. The bottom line is whether our curriculum or instructional approaches are resulting in increased student academic achievement. If you have questions regarding program evaluation for the Anchorage School District, please contact Assessment and Evaluation at 742-4420.
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An in-depth chronicle of Anchorage is presented by the Municipality of Anchorage Russian explorers had established themselves in southern Alaska by 1784, but English explorer Captain James Cook is credited with first exploring and describing the Anchorage area in 1778 during his third voyage of discovery. During the next hundred years Russian trading activity and cultural influence increased. Then 1867 problems at home forced the sale of Russian America to the United States for a sum of $7,200,000. In 1915 President Woodrow Wilson authorized funds for the construction of the Alaska Railroad. Ship Creek Landing in Anchorage was selected as the headquarters of this effort. Soon a “Tent City” sprang up at the mouth of Ship Creek and a population quickly swelled to more than 2,000. Would-be entrepreneurs flocked to this bustling frontier town, and brought with them everything necessary to build a city. A popular hardware and clothing store, “The Anchorage,” was actually an old dry-docked steamship name “Berth.” Although the area had been known by various names, the U.S. Post Office Department formalized the use of the name “Anchorage,” and despite some protests the name stuck. Anchorage was incorporated on November 23,1920. Alaska attained statehood in 1959. On March 27th, 1964, a natural disaster of incredible proportions struck Anchorage and Southcentral Alaska: the Good Friday earthquake. This earthquake measured 9.2 on the Richter Scale, the largest ever recorded in North America and, because Anchorage lay only 80 miles from the epicenter damage to structures ran to the hundreds of millions of dollars. The decade of the eighties was a time of growth, thanks to a flood of North Slope oil revenue into the state treasury. Capital projects and an aggressive beautification program, combined with far-sighted community planning, greatly increased infrastructure and quality of life. By the beginning of the 1990’s Anchorage could boast of 259 miles of maintained trails. Hilltop Ski Area was established in 1984, which along with the Alyeska Ski Resort in Girdwood and Alpenglow Ski Area gave residents three fully operational skiing areas. Tourism and recreational activities were fast becoming a mainstay of the modern Anchorage economy, which has continued to the present day.
“Anchorage is in a continued seller’s market with many homes receiving multiple offers. Average price for a resale home being 225-275K with new construction average being around 350K depending on the area. The average price for a resale condo being 125-150K with new construction being well over 200K depending on location. Currently most of what is available is new construction with higher prices due to the cost of materials and availability of good building lots.”
The Ulu Factory Inuit (Eskimo) Natives invented a knife centuries ago for every imaginable domestic cutting need. Learn the history, and see how they are being manufactured today. A free shuttle service, “Lolly the Trolley,” circulates Fifth and Sixth Avenues every half hour during summer. What in the heck is an Ulu (pronounced “ooloo”)? Oomingmak Musk Ox Producers Cooperative Step inside for a look and feel of qiviut (“key-vee-ute”), the soft underwool of the musk ox. The wool is hand knit into warm garments by Natives in western Alaska. For more info: www.qiviut.com.
Anchorage Market and Festival: Local farmers and artisans sell their goods on Saturdays and Sundays in this festival atmosphere – downtown at 3rd Ave. & E Street from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m, May – September, and Wednesdays at the Northway Mall. For more info: www.anchoragemarkets.com.
First Friday Art Walk: Local artists are in the spotlight the first Friday of each month when Anchorage galleries stay open late. This monthly celebration and opening of new shows attracts hundreds to the downtown area to see new work. Pick up a copy of the Anchorage Press, which publishes a map on the Thursday, one day prior to the event.
Chocolate Waterfall: View a real chocolate waterfall, and see the factory where wild Alaska berries are processed and turned into various candies. Open year round; 5225 Juneau Street.
Shopping Alaska Native Art Photo courtesy of the Alaska Native Heritage Center: Handy Business Links Art Galleries Specialty Gifts. Six Savvy Shopping Tips -provided by the Anchorage Museum. Native-made arts and crafts are beautiful and distinctive reminders of a well-enjoyed trip to Alaska. Take home a beloved piece of Alaskan culture by knowing what to look for in authentic Native art. Check for Authenticity The shop or gallery where you purchase a piece should be able to tell you the artist’s name, cultural background, village or region of origin. Look for the Silver Hand Emblem – a respected endorsement that symbolizes authentic Alaska Native handicrafts. Look for Mastery of Technique In baskets, for example, the tighter the weave and more symmetrical the shape, the higher quality the piece. Notice the Piece’s “Finish.” Carvings – whether ivory, wood, whalebone or soapstone – should have a finish that is appropriate to the piece. Smooth or textured, the finish should enhance the look of the piece. Look for a Clean Design An item carefully made enhances its design. Stitches should be neat on beadwork and skin-sewing, such as tolls. Materials Should be Legal Things used in creating the piece, such as feathers on masks, should be legal to own. Most Native-made pieces feature ptarmigan, turkey or pheasant feathers, which comply with the Migratory Bird Act. Eagle and duck feathers do not. Notice Tradition or Innovation. Some pieces – like carvings of mythical animals or figures hunting, fishing or dancing – reflect the tradition of artist’s culture and stand as hallmarks of a particular heritage. Others, like many whalebone sculptures, showcase innovation by incorporating contemporary sculptural shapes into a traditional art medium. While the above are good points to keep in mind, people should not discredit their own feelings about a piece of art. Alaska Native arts and crafts are featured in several galleries throughout Anchorage, as well as Anchorage museums and cultural centers.
The Fireweed Legend This vibrant flower blooms in late summer and autumn, painting the roadsides in rich hues of pink and magenta – much to the delight of local residents. As legend has it, when fireweed reaches its full splendor the six-week countdown to winter begins. One Flower You’ll Remember The official state flower is the Forget-Me-Not. Although its golden blossoms shining from a bed of blue petals are indeed hard to forget, it’s a tiny plant – and a bit ironic for the largest state in the union! Monster Veggies! ‘Round these parts, one cabbage can fill a wheelbarrow. Visit the Alaska State Fair and feast your eyes on these weighty wonders. Current record holders: Broccoli – 39.50 lbs. Cabbage – 105.60 lbs. Celery – 63.30 lbs. Mushroom – 25.30 lbs. Pumpkin – 942.00 lbs. Squash – 569.00 lbs. Watermelon – 168.60 lbs. Sunflower (tallest) – 16.75 ft.
Anchorage’s bright starry nights are nature’s perfect backdrop for dancing northern lights, also known as Aurora Borealis. The northern lights can be incredibly bright, multi-hued and fast moving. The most common color is a brilliant yellow-green. Colorful northern lights displays can produce red, blue and purple patterns. Glowing, dancing curtains of light that ripple and sway, fold and unfold then suddenly disappear, only to reform in a new shape minutes later. Aurora appear in the sky when the electrically charged particles from the Sun are blown on a solar wind and react to the earth’s magnetic field. Fall, winter and spring are the prime seasons for viewing the northern lights, and the best displays tend to be accompanied by sub-zero temperatures and moonless skies. The best hours are often near midnight. Of course, no one can guarantee when the Aurora will be out. Displays usually occur about sixty or seventy miles above the earth’s surface – about ten times higher than a jet aircraft flies – and can extend hundreds of miles into space. Visitors who wish to spot the Northern Lights should plan to spend a few days because the Aurora is, like the weather, variable. Local Aurora Forecasts are available online or in the weather section of the Anchorage Daily News. Many of the area hotels have a “northern lights wake up call” for guests who indicate that they want to be awakened if the lights are dancing in the night sky.
Anchorage Alaska is easily accessible any time of the year whether traveling by air, land or sea. Adventure abounds in every direction; north to Denali National Park, south to the Kenai Peninsula, west across Cook Inlet, or east to the spectacular Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve. Map a Trip to Anchorage and Alaska Alaska is enormous! Check out this collection of online Alaska maps including Alaska maps, maps of regions around Anchorage, a city map, and a downtown walking tour. Getting to Anchorage is Easy The Alaska Railroad connects Anchorage with Seward and Fairbanks. Lake Hood, the world’s busiest float plane base, brings the remote areas in Alaska closer to Anchorage. Two highways connect Anchorage with the rest of Southcentral Alaska. Did You Know? Alaska has one mile of road for every 42 square miles of land area. The U.S. average is one to one. On the other hand, Alaska has about six times as many pilots and 16 times as many aircraft per capita as the rest of the nation.