Coping with Covid: Mat-Su schools show how campus-specific measures work

Colony Middle School

Nearly 62 percent of Mat-Su schools are in the “green” category, meaning there is low or no transmission of Covid-19 occurring on the campuses.

Another 36 percent of valley schools are in the “yellow” category, which means some classes or the entire campus is in the “mask required” status due to a rise in Covid cases.

Just one school is currently closed, in the “red” category, due to being a hot spot for the virus.

Earlier this year, the district superintendent Randy Traini decided to use a campus-by-campus method to contain Covid, keep schools open, and retain as much of the normal school year as possible.

Read: No masks for back to school in the Mat-Su

Those 29 “green zone” schools, which include Colony High School, Talkeetna, and Willow, have had no or minimal cases of the virus in the past 14 days. Mat-Su Central School, although it has logged 24 cases of Covid in the campus community, just popped back into the green zone with no cases over the past seven days.

Big Lake Elementary, currently in the yellow zone, has a rule that has students wearing masks in certain classrooms, and strongly advised mask wearing in others, including K-2. Most yellow-zone schools have the same rule.

School administrators are tracking known cases daily, and schools may move between zones and managing their campuses accordingly.

Fronteras Charter School, the Spanish immersion program, is the only school closed in the Mat-Su due to Covid, with a 7-day count of 28 cases. The school has about 300 students who are currently studying at home.

The district offers a data hub that provides a glimpse into how each of the schools is coping with Covid.

Look at the Mat-Su School District’s data hub at this link.

Anchorage, Juneau, and other districts are using a one-size-fits-all policy that has children and staff masked indoors and outdoors on the campuses and in school buses.


  1. “Those 29 “green zone” schools, which include Colony High School, Talkeetna, and Willow, have had no or minimal cases of the virus in the past 14 days”
    This is because parents in the Upper Valley are not sending their kids for “the swab” every little sign of sickness they see.
    Remember when we used to treat the flu with chicken soup & orange juice?
    Alaskans need to stop submitting for tests every time they fell a little under the weather & start getting back to exercise & proper nutrition.
    Hippocrates said: “Let food be thy medicine”
    This age old adage rings louder today than ever!

  2. It’s surprising how well things work when you let individuals at the right level make decisions based upon the current conditions at the location with a measure of situational awareness and don’t try to mandate a “one size fits all”, “cookie cutter approach” MANDATE from the government. If only the Anchorage School District, School Board and Assembly would have that type of clarity of vision… and not mandate the “one size fits all”, “rules for thee but not for me”, nanny-state approach.

  3. There is zero relevance to wearing masks or not to the presence of the SARS-2 flu virus.
    The more local control of each school and the more direct power and influence the parents have in the school their children attend is always the best for all the meaningful reasons for an actual education.
    Children and their parents need as much protection as possible from school administrators, teacher unions and federal programs to aquire intellectual development, education and individual sovereignty from group think and ignorance.
    The neurotic obsessive-compulsive disorder of mask wearing is a product of conformity and allegiance to the concept that unelected beaurocrats are in control of society.
    The response to SARS-2 by health officials and politicians has been handled as dysfunctionally and ineptly as the Afghan withdrawal, destruction of our energy sector, destruction of our military readiness, etc.

  4. You might also do some reading-between-the-lines by looking at the absentee rate.
    You’ve got “green” schools with a 24% absentee rate.
    If Mat Su has staff to effectively do contact tracing (it’s a slow process) they have a lot more staff than they used to.

    • Mat-Su schools are not contract tracing cases in their schools, and it doesn’t seem that public health is either. When there is a case in a classroom, a notice is sent home that your child may have been a close contact. We get a few each week.

  5. Masks are still the bottom rung of the “hierarchy of controls” and do very little to mitigate things accept to remind people to be “concerned”, but these localized controls, caution levels, and actions make nothing but sense to me. This is what should have been done on a national level from the very start. With a little oversight and guidance, feds should have left it to the states and states should have left it to counties and counties should have left it to municipalities, not only to help minimize the numbers with a laser focus but also to maximize freedom and productivity as much as possible and let the people be governed how they want to be governed. And the most valuable stats are the local stats. I honestly believe this is the way it would have been handled if China wasn’t the trailblazer for all of this and if Fauci and the liberal media weren’t at the helm steering us to their goal of mass hysteria. I mean this is precisely the way we have always handled flu outbreaks in schools, which are worse on kids.
    This is why if the directors of the NIAID and CDC and the rest can have this much control over my daily life, they should go through public hearings and get approved by elected officials that have a chance to hear different perspectives, philosophies, and strategies and to judge the character of these people. Personally, if I was on a review board, Fauci immediately wouldn’t have passed my sniff test without even knowing his track record.

      • Actually, I don’t care AND you failed to comprehend what I said. I didn’t talk about bans on mask mandates. Actually banning mask mandates goes against what I am saying, so I sort of agree with the federal judge… sort of. I’m saying that states should leave things to counties and counties should leave things to municipalities. However, masks aren’t the lynch pin that allows a disabled child to go to school. That’s a fallacy. At best, masks reduce the risk, not remove it. And I truly don’t care what a federal judge in South Carolina thinks. Judges are wrong all of the time, especially if they think the science is settled that masks are going to prevent disabled children from getting sick.

        • Sorry I misunderstood you. I agree with you mostly. Judges aren’t wrong all the time, they are wrong sometimes. Mostly a judge’s job is to keep score. The attorneys find it out. But if a kid can’t wear a mask because of their disability, are we supposed to tell them to stay home don’t attend school? Are we supposed to tell the kid with a prosthetic device to try to climb those stairs instead of building a ramp? That was a whole part of the ADA, it was the stick up for those minorities with disabilities they can’t fight for themselves.

          • I mean all of the time there is a judge somewhere that has made a bad decision. Not that they are always wrong. You really have a tough time following people or you’re reading too fast. We are crossing wires too about this mask thing. The judge’s ruling was that all of the OTHER kids MUST be able to wear masks so that the disabled kids that can’t wear masks can be safe and attend school, which is a ruling that requires the assumption that masks keep kids completely safe, which they don’t. At best they just reduce the risk a little. But anyway the ruling was against the BAN on the mandates, not against mask mandates. Your argument seems to be against mask mandates, which would go against the judges ruling. I know a ban on mandates is sort of a double negative and hard to follow.
            Pushing all of that confusion aside, boy I sure hope there isn’t a school out there that tells kids that can’t wear a mask for medical reasons that they must stay at home just because they can’t wear a mask. That would be pretty brain dead and heartless, I agree.

    • Agreed. I’m seeing more masks in stores this week out here in the Valley, and I figure it must be media/Zink/Dunleavy hyping up some “case” numbers again.
      I think many people have given up thinking entirely, and just reflexively strap on a muzzle even when there’s tremendous evidence all around them that wearing a mask does no good and at least some amount of harm.

  6. How about “no measures”? The Kung Flu is no deadlier than the ordinary flu for children. Why are people still closing schools and muzzling children?

  7. If they keep the schools open, unmasked. Covid would be over a lot sooner and the kids would be fine. They are meant to share germs and build up their immune systems naturally. Let kids be kids and learn, without all the fear.

  8. A rise in cases triggers a masking requirement.
    It’s almost as if nobody wants to pay attention to the known and accepted and scientifically proven fact that masks don’t stop viral spread.
    There are plenty of research articles in leading medical journals to that effect. Even the CDC website has them if anyone wants to look.
    We think we’ve progressed so far in our understanding of things but, really, the majority of us are still stuck back in the days of thinking that bleeding the patient or applying leeches to suck out the bad blood were legitimate medical treatments.
    Got a rise in cases?
    Slap a mask on the little tykes and send them back to school.
    About as effective as hanging a crucifix and a garlic necklace around their necks to ward off vampires and about as necessary when the “pandemic” threatens the average child with an almost zero probability of death or injury from Covid.
    These school administrators and other authority figures want us to believe that their mandates and other unreasonable demands are founded in “the science” but the truth is that they’re founded in fear, at best, and in something far more sinister at worst.
    Science says that masks don’t stop viral spread and that the vast majority of people are at little risk from Covid but still the mandates, closures, restrictions and whatnot continue and are even ramping up.
    Reasonable people legitimately ask why but get no reasonable answers.
    Something is going on and all we can say with certainty is that it has nothing to do with our health and safety.

    • You are dead on. Reasonable people are silenced or made into a target and it’s all coming from up top in the CDC, FDA, and NIAID by doctors that are no longer doctors, but narcissistic political bureaucrats interested in winning political favor with one side of the aisle because that one side of the aisle is the government and the media who are definitely interested in vilifying those that oppose them. They are breaking families and our civilization. A contagious disease can do that, but instead of shining a light on that fact so we can recognize that we need to be careful to not claw each other apart, they decided to pour gasoline on it by blaming people that are asking questions for creating division and for essentially causing the disease to persist and kill. This is truly madness.
      Crazy thing is that studies do show that ventilation, air filters, and air sterilizers are much more effective than masks and they don’t create division. Imagine if the schools would have spent a fraction of the efforts to get air filtration for the classrooms back in August 2020 and then been done with it.

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