Soldotna High School English teacher Nicole Hewitt teaches her students remotely from her empty classroom at Soldotna High School on Monday, April 6, 2020 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna High School English teacher Nicole Hewitt teaches her students remotely from her empty classroom at Soldotna High School on Monday, April 6, 2020 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)

KPBSD opens enrollment survey

Uncertainty surrounding fall 2021 enrollment numbers has created challenges in the budget process.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is asking district parents and students to complete an enrollment intent survey to help it figure out how many students will be returning to district schools this fall.

The district has stated previously that uncertainty surrounding fall 2021 enrollment numbers has created challenges in the budget process.

During meetings of the KPBSD Board of Education on Monday, board member Jason Taurianen said that he has heard from parents who said they will not be returning to in-person learning if the district is still requiring students to wear masks as part of its COVID-19 mitigation measures.

A preface to the enrollment count survey, written by Assistant Superintendent Clayton Holland, specifically notes that it is the intent of the district to not require staff and students to wear face masks during the next school year, when the district will offer in-person learning at all of their 42 schools. Holland will succeed O’Brien as KPBSD superintendent effective July 1.

KPBSD Superintendent John O’Brien said Monday that he is “extremely hopeful” that the district will be able to return to some sort of normalcy for the next academic year, but that the district should not paint themselves into a corner while things are still up in the air.

O’Brien also said Monday that the district had planned to announce a districtwide lift of masking requirements for students while participating in outdoor activities, including recess. However, because of an increase in COVID-19 cases in the eastern peninsula, they are going to hold off on lifting the requirement for a few more days.

The survey can be accessed at kpbsd.k12.ak.us.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

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