Image via Kenai Peninsula School District

Image via Kenai Peninsula School District

Schools remain at 100% remote learning as peninsula cases grow

42 new cases were reported on the peninsula Thursday.

COVID-19 cases continued to rise on the peninsula following the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District’s extension of 100% remote learning for 35 schools on Wednesday.

100% remote learning for central peninsula schools will be extended through at least Nov. 13. 100% remote learning for southern peninsula, eastern peninsula and Susan B. English schools will be extended through at least Nov. 6.

“The time we are living in is hard, requires sacrifice, and teamwork,” a Wednesday night release from the school district said. “We know there will be an end to the pandemic.”

Five smaller district schools, including Cooper Landing School, Hope School, Nanwalek School, Port Graham School and Tebughna School are currently operating at low risk level, but may shift to 100% remote learning when there is a local positive COVID-19 case.

Susan B. English School in Seldovia shifted to 100% remote learning on Oct. 27 after the district confirmed a positive case of COVID-19 in the community. It will continue operating remotely through at least Nov. 6.

When schools operate at high-risk level, learning is conducted 100% remotely and buildings are closed to students.

In determining whether to reopen a school to onsite learning, the district and their Medical Advisory Team analyze 14-day positive case counts, analyze the seven-day positivity trend, consult with medical providers and review their school decision matrix.

DHSS created risk levels as part of a plan to reopen long-term care facilities to visitors, but DHSS says risk levels also can be used to inform decisions by other entities, including schools, institutions of higher learning and businesses.

During 100% remote learning, Get-It and Go meals are free for all students and can be picked up daily at school between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. Meals will not be available today due to parent-teacher conferences. Pre-K, kindergarten and special education intensive needs students can still attend classes in-person during 100% remote learning.

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.

Central Peninsula — High Risk

The central peninsula, or Kenai, Nikiski, Soldotna, Sterling and “other North,” had 40 resident cases reported by the state Wednesday for a total of 246 cases in the last 14 days.

The central peninsula is high risk when there are 52 or more cases in the last 14 days, medium risk when there are 51 to 26 cases in the last 14 days, and low risk when there are 25 or fewer cases in the last 14 days.

100% remote learning will continue for central peninsula schools through at least Nov. 13. As of Thursday, the central peninsula will need to lose 195 cases from its 14-day case count for schools to drop back into medium risk.

Central peninsula schools include Aurora Borealis Charter School, K-Beach Elementary, Kaleidoscope School of Arts and Sciences, Kenai Alternative School, Kenai Central High School, Kenai Middle School, Marathon School, Mountain View Elementary, Nikiski Middle-High School, Nikiski North Star Elementary, Redoubt Elementary, River City Academy, Skyview Middle School, Soldotna Elementary School, Soldotna High School, Soldotna Montessori Charter School, Sterling Elementary and Tustumena Elementary.

Southern Peninsula — High Risk

The southern peninsula, or Homer, Fritz Creek, Anchor Point and “other South,” had two resident cases reported by the state Thursday for a total of 32 cases in the last 14 days.

The southern peninsula is at high risk when there are 20 or more cases in the last 14 days, medium risk when there are 19 to 10 cases in the last 14 days, and low risk when there are nine cases or fewer in the last 14 days.

100% remote learning will continue for southern peninsula schools through at least Nov. 6. There is no school today for most southern peninsula schools, due to parent-teacher conferences. Kachemak-Selo, Nikolaevsk, Razdolna and Voznesenka schools are in session today. As of Thursday, the southern peninsula will need to lose 13 cases from its 14-day case count for schools to drop back into medium risk.

Southern peninsula schools include Chapman School, Fireweed Academy, Homer Flex School, Homer High School, Kachemak Selo School, McNeil Canyon Elementary, Nikolaevsk School, Ninilchik School, Paul Banks Elementary, Razdolna School, Voznesenka School and West Homer Elementary.

Eastern Peninsula — High Risk

The eastern peninsula, or Seward, had no resident cases reported by the state Thursday for a total of eight cases in the last 14 days.

The eastern peninsula is at high risk when there are eight or more cases in the last 14 days, medium risk when there are four to seven cases in the last 14 days, and low risk when there are three or fewer cases in the last 14 days.

100% remote learning will for eastern peninsula schools will continue through at least Nov. 6.

There is no school today due to parent-teacher conferences. As of Thursday, the eastern peninsula will need to lose one case from its 14-day case count for schools to drop back into medium risk.

Eastern peninsula schools include Moose Pass School, Seward Elementary, Seward High School and Seward Middle School.

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

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