All students at eastern peninsula schools will resume in-person learning five days a week starting Monday, following a Kenai Peninsula Borough School District announcement Friday that the region would begin operating a medium-risk level.
Eastern peninsula schools, which include Seward Elementary, Seward Middle, Seward High and Moose Pass schools, will become the first of the central peninsula schools to begin operating at a risk level lower than high in months.
When schools operate at medium-risk level, students in all grade levels are able to attend classes in person five days a week with enhanced COVID-19 mitigation protocols in place. Those protocols include requiring staff and all students to wear a mask at all times, maintaining social distance when at all possible and implementing seating plans on school buses, among other things.
As of Friday, central, eastern and southern peninsula schools were operating at high-risk level, meaning students in grades pre-K through sixth were allowed to return to in-person learning five days a week, while students in grades seven through 12 returned on an A/B schedule.
The KPBSD Board of Education approved changes to the district’s “high-risk” operations. Prior to Jan. 11, schools at high-risk level operated 100% remotely. The district has also said that beginning in 2021, they will be working with individual schools if a positive COVID-19 case occurs in schools. This will prevent entire regions from shifting to 100% remote learning by having individual schools or classrooms operate remotely instead.
The earliest central and southern peninsula schools could begin operating at medium-risk level, the district release said, is Feb. 1. An update on the regions will be announced on Jan. 28, the district said.
As of Jan. 22, the central peninsula needed to lose 67 cases from its 14-day case count in order to drop back out of high risk. The southern peninsula needed to lose 10 cases.
Operational risk levels, case incidence rates and case numbers by community are updated daily on the district’s risk levels dashboard at covid19.kpbsd.org/dashboard.
Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at firstname.lastname@example.org.