The Anchorage School Superintendent had hoped to have K-2 students back in the classroom starting Nov. 16. But that is not to be.
In a note to parents and the community, Superintendent Deena Bishop said the district will postpone in-class learning. The number of diagnosed cases of COVID-19 are spiking in Alaska and schools in Anchorage have been closed since mid-March.
The superintendent’s letter:
Dear ASD families and community,
Based on the increasing community spread of the virus and the rising demand placed on the Anchorage medical community, I am announcing this evening that the Anchorage School District will not resume in-person learning for Pre-K through grade 2, self-contained special education classrooms, or Whaley School on November 16.
The conditions across Anchorage are currently threatening to push the community’s medical capacity beyond its limits, as reflected on our COVID-19 decision monitoring. Additionally, the increasing number of close contacts has the potential to significantly reduce ASD’s ability to staff schools with predictability. Delaying in-person learning has been a heartbreaking decision, as we all have become aware that the best way to ensure we educate all children for success in life includes in-person learning.
ASD remains steadfast on getting its students back into schools and will continue its plans to do so when conditions allow. More details about the status of in-person learning for all levels of students and information about additional support services will be shared on November 15. Families in need of services are encouraged to call the District’s help line, 907-742-HELP. Help line staff are available to refer those in need to resources for food insecurities, technical assistance, and mental health resources.
In the meantime, please wear masks in public, practice good hygiene, and follow the Municipal and State health mandates. If everyone does their part in reducing the spread of the virus, the community will be on its way to getting students and staff back into the classroom where they love to be.
Meanwhile, the mayor of Anchorage has ordered all children in school to wear masks, but at this time the only children who are in school are attending private schools.