Located on the Bering Sea coast of southwestern Alaska, this region is borderedby the Bristol Bay to the south, the Kuskokwim Mountains to the westand north, and the Aleutian Range to the east. The beautiful Bristol Bay region is considered the gateway to the Wood-Tikchik Wilderness area. More king and red salmon are harvested in the waters of BristolBay than anywhere else in the world. Also nearby are the famous Walrus Islands. Located 350 miles southwest of Anchorage, Dillingham is the largest community in the region. It serves as a hub to the rest of Bristol Bay and offers banking services, a regional hospital, restaurants, stores, hotels, State Troopers, a public radio station, and an extension campus for the University of Alaska - Fairbanks. Jet service is also available between Anchorage and Dillingham in the summers and turboprop service is available year-round.
The villages served by Southwest Region Schools are located 15 to 75 miles from the district headquarters in Dillingham. Of the eight villages, only Aleknagik is accessible by road from Dillingham. All of the other villages are accessed by air, primarily using small, single engine planes. Like Dillingham, the villages receive their freight, fuel, and mail by barge and air serviceduring the summer months, and by air only during the winter. The villages of the region are populated primarily by Alaskan Yupik Eskimos. The regions primary economic base is commercial fishing in the summer, and subsistence hunting and fishing in the winter. Average seasonal temperatures for the region range from 75º F in the summer to-10º F in the winter, although much colder temperatures are common inthe winter. Available outdoor recreational activities include fishing,hunting, hiking, boating, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing.