100% Remote Learning is extended for 34 KPBSD schools through at least Friday, November 13, 2020

Soldotna, November 4, 2020—KPBSD operates schools with plans defined in the KPBSD SmartStart 2020 Plan, that was built with approval from the Board of Education, and review and feedback from DEED and DHSS. On Monday, the Board of Education gave district administration a green light to continue working on plans to safely bring students back into schools during High COVID-19 Risk operational levels.

Assistant Superintendent Holland has worked with principals and staff to move in this direction for several weeks when we realized community spread could continue to keep some areas in high risk. A staff survey is being conducted, and parents and older students can expect a survey within the next week so school district leadership can hear from everyone. The hope and plan is to safely bring an onsite at-school learning option to many more students at some point in December if areas are continuing to operate in High Risk.

“Working out the logistics and mitigation plans will take some time but this is our highest priority and we are working expediently. New plans will go to DHSS and DEED for feedback, and the school board for approval and adoption. We fully understand the hardship that moving to remote learning has caused on students, families, and staff. The emotional and mental health toll is real and has been significant. We know many of our students need to be learning onsite at school. We are redoubling our efforts to address mental health concerns for both students and our dedicated staff, especially during this transition period until Smart Start plan changes can be vetted and approved by the Board of Education.”

-Superintendent John O’Brien

When the KPBSD Medical Advisory Team and school district leadership met, on Wednesday, the continued high trend of positive COVID-19 case counts, the 7-Day trends, and contact tracing information from public health, drove the decision that a week extension of 100% Remote Learning is merited for staff and student safety, and to be in alignment with the current Smart Start plan.

  • One week extension: Schools in the Eastern Kenai Peninsula and Southern Kenai Peninsula will continue with 100% Remote Learning through at least Friday, November 13, 2020
  • Initial two week extension still in place: Central Kenai Peninsula schools will continue with 100% Remote Learning through at least Friday, November 13, 2020
  • KPBSD small schools continue in low risk, with onsite-at-school learning option
  • KPBSD Connections Homeschool is open

What to know

  • Schools will continue to be in contact with their families. If you or a friend are struggling or need assistance, do not wait. Call your school secretary, a teacher, the principal, school nurse, or counselor, if you have questions about materials, packets, mental well-being, or other questions
  • Get-It and Go Meals are free for all students during 100% Remote Learning, and can be picked up daily at school between 12:00–1:00. Make sure to place your order by noon on Friday for the following week daily pickup: Signup online for FREE lunch and breakfast meals
  • Need some inspiration? This is a recycle of a free resource for you: Sources of Strength Family Toolkit
  • Pre-K, Kindergarten, and Special Education Intensive Needs students may still attend school onsite-at-school during 100% Remote Learning, based on the 2020 SmartStart Plan. Schools are in contact with these families directly

Central Peninsula Schools operating in High Risk (Red) Status through at least Friday, November 13, 2020

Central Kenai Peninsula includes Kasilof to Sterling, extending through Kenai, Nikiski, Soldotna, and DHSS “other north” communities. Cooper Landing is not included in the 17 Central Peninsula schools:

  • Aurora Borealis Charter School
  • Kaleidoscope Charter School
  • K-Beach Elementary School
  • Kenai Alternative School
  • Kenai Central High School
  • Kenai Middle School
  • Mountain View Elementary School
  • Nikiski Middle-High School
  • Nikiski North Star Elementary School
  • Redoubt Elementary School
  • River City Academy
  • Skyview Middle School
  • Soldotna Elementary School
  • Soldotna High School
  • Soldotna Montessori Charter School
  • Sterling Elementary School
  • Other North: Tustumena Elementary School

Eastern Kenai Peninsula Schools operating in High Risk (Red) Status through Friday, November 13, 2020

  • Moose Pass School
  • Seward High School
  • Seward Middle School
  • William H. Seward Elementary

Southern Kenai Peninsula Schools operating in High Risk (Red) Status through Friday, November 13, 2020

  • Chapman School
  • Fireweed Academy
  • Homer Flex School
  • Homer High School
  • Homer Middle School
  • Kachemak Selo School
  • McNeil Canyon Elementary School
  • Nikolaevsk School
  • Ninilchik School
  • Paul Banks Elementary School
  • Razdolna School
  • Voznesenka School
  • West Homer Elementary School

Small schools

Susan B. English in Seldovia will resume onsite at-school learning on Monday, November 9, 2020.
Five other small KPBSD schools in, Cooper Landing, Hope, Nanwalek, Port Graham, and Tebughna will also continue to operate in low COVID-19 risk, and offer both 100% Remote and onsite-at-school learning options.

*Decision Basis about operations in risk levels

To determine if schools should operate in 100% Remote Learning, or offer options for 100% Remote Learning and onsite at-school learning, district leadership and the KPBSD Medical Advisory Team:

  • Analyze the 14-Day positive COVID-19 case counts
  • Analyze the 7-Day positivity trend
  • Consult with public health contact tracing knowledge, and local medical providers
  • Review the KPBSD COVID-19 Positive Case in a School Decision Matrix
  • Based on this analysis and scientific data, the medical advisory team (which now includes a mental health professional) closely watch positive cases, types of community spread, and offer informed insights about safely operating schools during a pandemic.