File

File

Schools prep for online learning

K-12 education across Alaska will be delivered directly to a student’s home.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is preparing to migrate education from brick-and-mortar schools to a distance delivery system.

The extended spring break for students ends this weekend and school will be back in session on Monday, March 30. However, students won’t be visiting their classroom or seeing their classmates. Per Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s more recent health mandates, schools will be closed until May 1 and K-12 education across Alaska will be delivered directly to a student’s home.

To shift a district of 8,700 students who attend class in 42 different sites to a “virtual school” in two weeks is “extraordinary,” Pegge Erkeneff, director of communications for the district, said in an email.

She said staff are working around the clock to “rise to this uncharted mission to teach our students.” Over the course of this week, staff is attending professional development and using inservice times to get their classes ready for Monday.

Erkeneff said one of the challenges with the remote migration is finding new ways of delivering content, and determining how many families don’t have access to the internet, a Chrome browser or device. Erkeneff said the district needs to provide devices to students who have an “immediate need.” Based on surveys each family in the district were asked to complete last week, Erkeneff said more than 500 students would “benefit from a Chromebook at home for learning.” The district is working on getting those devices assigned to students who need them, Erkeneff said.

“There are many unprecedented things happening everywhere as parts of our world turn upside down, but what doesn’t change, is our district will strive to provide an education for our kids and families as best we can,” Erkeneff said.

When classes begin Monday, students will be using any number of classroom platforms, including Canvas, Blog, Google, Classroom and Bloomz. Video conferencing will take place on Zoom, Canvas and Google Meet.

Parents will be learning how they play a role in their student’s distance education next week, Erkeneff said. The district will be launching a parent resource webpage later this week.

Teachers are being asked to work remotely to help with social distancing in school buildings, but as long as school buildings are safe and open, staff can work from their classrooms.

Students won’t need to worry about taking any standardized state testing this year. The state received a waiver for all state testing and the state will also be able to waive ACT and SAT requirements for the Alaska Performance Scholarship, a state scholarship given to graduating seniors who fulfill certain requirements and enter college in Alaska. Erkeneff said the district will be working with seniors to make sure they complete coursework required to graduate.

For registered families, “get it and go” meals are available for pick up across the district for the rest of the week and the rest of the year, as long as it is “safe to do so,” Erkeneff said. On Tuesday, the district served more than 1,600 meals.

A person from Sterling tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of confirmed cases on the Kenai Peninsula to four. Over the weekend, two new positive COVID-19 cases were announced on the central peninsula in Sterling and in Soldotna. March 10, a positive case was also announced in Seward.

School sites or meal deliveries could be suspended in some communities if exposure of COVID-19 continues to rise, a Sunday press release from the district said.

More in News

A bucket of recently caught sockeye salmon rests on the sand while anglers seek to fill it further at the mouth of the Kasilof River on Monday, June 26, 2023, in Kasilof, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Dipnetting in Kasilof opens Tuesday

Dipnetting will be allowed at all times until Aug. 7

The Kasilof River is seen from the Kasilof River Recreation Area, July 30, 2019, in Kasilof, Alaska. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Fish and Game restricts bait on Kasilof, Ninilchik Rivers

The use of bait on the rivers will begin Friday and extend to July 15 in Ninilchik, July 31 in Kasilof

A man fishes in the Kenai River on July 16, 2018, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Peninsula Clarion/file)
Slow sockeye fishing on Kenai, Russian Rivers

Northern Kenai Fishing Report for June 20

Alaska Department of Fish and Game logo. (Graphic by Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Bag limits doubled for sockeye salmon in Resurrection Bay

The increase is effective from June 21 to July 31

Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion
Girl Scout Troop 210, which includes Caitlyn Eskelin, Emma Hindman, Kadie Newkirk and Lyberty Stockman, present their “Bucket Trees” to a panel of judges in the 34th Annual Caring for the Kenai Competition at Kenai Central High School on Thursday, April 18.
Caring for the Kenai winners receive EPA award

Winning team of the 34th annual Caring for the Kenai was selected for the President’s Environmental Youth Award

Norm Blakely speaks to the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly in Soldotna, Alaska, on Tuesday, June 18, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Assembly approves resolution guiding efforts to increase voter turnout

The Voter Turnout Working Group was established to explore options and ideas aimed at increasing voter participation

Alaska State Troopers logo.
Update: Bodies of 2 men retrieved from submerged plane in wake of reported Moose Pass crash

A pair of hikers witnessed and reported the crash around 2 p.m. on Tuesday, trooper say

Alaska Department of Transportation Commissioner Ryan Anderson speaks during a town hall meeting on the use of brine on Kenai Peninsula roads, in the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly Chambers in Soldotna, Alaska, on Monday, June 17, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Brine use reduced by 69% this winter, further changes possible

Department of Transportation holds town hall to report back on winter brine use, collect feedback

Sockeye salmon are gathered together at a test site for selective harvest setnet gear in Kenai, Alaska, on Tuesday, July 25, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Commercial fishing with dipnets to see 1st opening Thursday

Commercial fishing with dipnets will be allowed for their first opening on… Continue reading

Most Read