School district offers updated remote learning options

Students learning 100% remotely will not be allowed to return to in-person learning outside of the transfer dates outlined.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District will offer a districtwide 100% Remote Learning option during the 2021-2022 school year. (Image via the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District communications blog)

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District will offer a districtwide 100% Remote Learning option during the 2021-2022 school year. (Image via the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District communications blog)

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District will offer new districtwide remote learning options for students during the 2021-2022 school year that aim to meet the needs of parents hesitant to send their children to school during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Students in grades one through eight will have the option to return to in-person learning each quarter, with enrollment transfer dates from Aug. 10-27, Oct. 18-22, Jan. 3-7 and March 14-18. That’s compared to high school students in grades nine through 12, who will only be given the option to change to in-person learning twice during the school year: from Aug. 10-27 and Jan. 3-7.

Students learning 100% remotely will not be allowed to return to in-person learning outside of the transfer dates outlined. In allowing elementary and middle school students to transfer each quarter and high school students to transfer each semester, the district’s goal is that students have the best opportunity to earn credits and stay on track to graduate.

Remote students will not be allowed to participate in extracurricular activities, but may be allowed to participate if they transfer to in-person learning as long as that student has passed all classes and maintained a 2.0 grade point average, according to the district’s remote learning site.

The district recommends remote learning for families who have consistent internet access, are willing to advocate for their student’s learning, are willing to communicate with people online, have a consistent schedule and are willing to commit to the enrollment schedule.

Remote students will be supplied with a Chromebook by their neighborhood school, with learning happening synchronously, meaning at scheduled times, and asynchronously, meaning not at scheduled times. Classes for elementary students will be multi-grade, with grades one through three and grades four through six grouped together.

“When parents and guardians choose to enroll their children in remote learning, it is 100% remote,” the district’s remote learning site says. “There is not an option to join neighborhood school classes simultaneously or participate in activities.”

The remote learning program offered for the 2021-2022 school year will be different from the remote learning option that was offered to students during the 2020-2021 school year and is specific to a student’s grade level.

Elementary students in grades one through six will receive targeted instruction in core subjects through the learning program Edmentum. KPBSD’s remote instruction teachers will supplement students’ remote learning by monitoring student progress and targeting support needed by students.

Middle school students in grades seven through eight will take synchronous classes led by teachers from Skyview Middle School. Those teachers will only teach remote students for specific classes and will teach in-person students during other periods, KPBSD Communications Director Pegge Erkeneff said Monday. Remote middle school students will follow Skyview Middle School’s bell schedule.

High school students in grades nine through 12 will participate in KPBSD’s Distance Education program, which has a variety of course offerings that range from core subjects to electives. The Distance Education program is described as being mostly asynchronous, with pacing guides provided for each course to help with successful completion by the end of the semester.

To enroll their students in KPBSD’s remote learning option for the school year, parents should enroll regularly through their neighborhood schools and tell the school secretary that they are selecting the 100% remote learning option. Families will be sent introductory information specific to their student’s grade level after enrollment.

The website is one of many ways KPBSD is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Students attending classes in-person will be expected to adhere to COVID mitigation protocols, including social distancing, testing with parental consent and the district’s Symptom-Free Schools Protocol. The district’s fully mitigation plan is available at covid19.kpbsd.org.

More information about the district’s remote learning program and grade-specific curriculum can be found at www.sites.google.com/g.kpbsd.org/remotelearning.

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

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