I promised a little information about BSSD, so here it is! I could go on for hours, but this is a fair summary.
The Bering Strait School District is a progressive standards-based district comprised of fifteen K-12 schools in the Norton Sound/Bering Strait region of Northwest Alaska. It is part of the Nome Census Area. The district encompasses a land area approximately the size of Minnesota and North Dakota combined, although it is considered a small district by population (roughly 1700 students total).
The district population of students is over 99% Alaskan Native Inupiat, Yu'pik, and Siberian Yu'pik cultures. The communities range in size from a population of 150 to nearly 900 people, while the student population in the schools ranges from 40 to 225 students. Of the 1700 students, over 1000 are ELL students.
The area is extremely remote. The communities are among the most traditional Native Alaskan Eskimo villages in the world. Daily subsistence activities such as hunting (seal, whale, fish, etc) and gathering berries are the mainstay of village life. Few cash economy jobs exist; the school is often the largest village employer. Supplies, mail, and people can only reach the area by bush plane. A few of the district villages are connected to each other through a snowmachine/dog sled route, and six of the villages are checkpoints for the Iditarod Sled Dog Race. Temperatures range from 60 degrees F in the summer to a possible -45 degrees F in the winter. BSSD does not own a school bus for obvious reason, but it does own several snowmachines (or snowmobiles, as they are called in the L48) in each village as well as a district bush plane for field trip and teacher inservice travel. Visitors to five of the district's schools can see Russia with the naked eye from North America.
While the location is isolated and remote, the schools are state of the art. Alaska is rich in oil, and the oil money has even trickled down to education! The district is an all Macintosh organization and is technology-driven. They have composed an open-content initiative through Wikipedia, and they even create a large Iditarod curriculum project every year for teachers in the Lower 48. Many teachers and students write blogs as class projects.
I hope that gives you a better picture of my district and future home! I will post pictures and videos of the actual places and people once I settle into my new community.