The Bering Strait School District is located in northwest Alaska in an area encompassing roughly 77,000 square miles and 15 communities surrounding Norton Sound and the Bering Sea. It serves about 1800 students from Kindergarten to 12th grade.

While each of the 15 communities in BSSD are isolated and remote, knowledge and respect for living off of the land, creativity, ingenuity, perseverance, and collaboration, are what have made the Inupiat, Central Yup’ik, and St. Lawrence Island Yup’ik people successful survivors of the harsh Arctic climate for thousands of years. Along with a deep knowledge of subsistence, our students have grown up in a culture revered for its artistry in skin-sewing, beading, traditional tool-making (ulu, harpoon, qayaq), ivory, whalebone, and driftwood carving, as well as its rich history of traditional dancing and drumming.

BSSD has a commitment to providing meaningful and engaging education to its students, and supports bilingual/bicultural instruction in each school as well as arts instruction, striving to integrate cultural and arts activities into the academic curriculum to make education relevant for students.

Walrus from Chinik (Golovin)

Alaska's Heart Through Student Art 2023

We received 16 submissions from 5 villages demonstrating a breadth of student art from across the district. Although only 5 could go to the show in Juneau, we are proud to have all of these artists representing our district.

Walrus from Tapraq (Saint Michael)

Family Tree from Saktuliq (Shaktoolik)

Christmas Ornament from Kigiqtaq (Shishmaref)

Assorted ornaments and pincusions from Kigiqtaq (Shishmaref).

Fireweed from Chinik (Golovin)

Bears in a blizzard from Chinik (Golovin)

Fireweed from Chinik (Golovin)

Dancer from Sitaisaq (Brevig Mission)

Cutting Fish from Sitaisaq (Brevig Mission)

Hunter from Sitaisaq (Brevig Mission)

Ravens under a harvest moon from Chinik (Golovin)

Polar Bear from Chinik (Golovin)

Lynx from Chinik (Golovin)

Sunset over the Norton Sound from Chinik (Golovin)

Drums from Chinik (Golovin)

2021/22 New Teacher Orientation

Since we were in Anchorage for our orientation this year, we were able to take advantage of some of the local resources at the Alaska Native Cultural Heritage Center to orient ourselves before heading out to our respective villages.

Village Sites

Teachers got a view of traditional structures and ways of being on their tour of the Village Sites around the lake at the Alaska Native Heritage Center. The group shown above arrived from the Philippines to teach students in the Bering Straight School District and had an early chance to encounter Alaska Native spaces and values here before continuing on to their new villages.


The Hall of Cultures and the Gathering Place offered both exhibits, presentations, and opportunities to talk and ask questions of knowledge-bearers across several generations. Our new teacher crew was diverse, with staff who were born and raised right in the village where they would now teach to those who were arriving from homes out of state or out of the country. ANHC offered a great chance for everyone to get their bearings.

Art Integration - New Teacher Orientation

This document was created for those unable to join us for in-person orientation.

Naguatun i'lutin- (Be in Good Health) and Happy Valentine's Day from BSSD!

Abigail Nayokpuk.pdf

Students in Brianna Wheeler's class in Shishmaref made Valentines using watercolor washes and salt, using Inupiaq phrases compiled by BSSD's Cultural Programs Coordinator, Mary Huntington.

See more artwork by Shishmaref students under the 'School Sites' tab!

Arts Working Weekend- October 19th-21st, 2018

Twenty-two teachers from around BSSD came to Unalakleet to participate in the first Arts Working Weekend Workshop for the 2018-2019 school year. Participants had the special opportunity to attend the performance of ALAXSXA | ALASKA, a theatre piece that weaves together puppetry, video installations, recorded interviews, storytelling, and yuraq (Yup’ik dance) to tell stories of cross-cultural encounters in Alaska, as well as a community conversation following the show led by Kawerak's Lisa Ellanna and Colleen Reynolds. We then spent the weekend with three of the performers, teaching artists Ryan Conarro, Gary Beaver, and Justin Perkins, to extend teachers’ arts experiences and classroom arts integration tools, through: deepened reflection on the ALAXSXA | ALASKA production, learning skills for the classroom in puppetry, drama and personal storytelling, and yuraq and traditional performance practice, reflecting on, identifying, and articulating classroom applications and extensions for these arts skills, and sharing personal stories, puppetry, and yuraq in performance with each other.

September 2018

Students in Sally Grimsrud's class in John Apangalook School in Gambell created posters for the #WeRNative Suicide Prevention & Awareness initiative. Learn more at: