Kenai Peninsula Borough School District

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Assistant Superintendent Kari Dendurent (front left) and Superintendent Clayton Holland (back right) listen as Board of Education President Zen Kelly (back left) speaks at a board meeting on Monday in Soldotna. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Superintendent seeks board input on revisions to district’s COVID protocols

Multiple parents and board members voiced their concerns about the district’s close contact policy.

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Assistant Superintendent Kari Dendurent (front left) and Superintendent Clayton Holland (back right) listen as Board of Education President Zen Kelly (back left) speaks at a board meeting on Monday in Soldotna. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Cindy Ecklund is running for the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly’s east peninsula seat. (courtesy photo)
Cindy Ecklund is running for the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly’s east peninsula seat. (courtesy photo)
Soldotna High School is photographed on Sept. 2, 2021, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

SoHi, Skyview go to universal indoor masking Monday

As of Friday, nine KPBSD schools — not including schools in “small communities” — were operating, or were going to start operating Monday, with universal indoor masking for staff and students

Soldotna High School is photographed on Sept. 2, 2021, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenn Carpenter is running for reelection to the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly’s east peninsula seat. (Courtesy photo)
Kenn Carpenter is running for reelection to the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly’s east peninsula seat. (Courtesy photo)
Community members participate in a walk-in at Seward Elementary School on Monday, Sept. 27 in Seward, Alaska. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Erfurth)

Seward walk-in supports COVID mitigation strategies

In a post shared to the KPEA Facebook page Monday, the group reiterated the shortcomings of the district’s current mitigation plan.

Community members participate in a walk-in at Seward Elementary School on Monday, Sept. 27 in Seward, Alaska. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Erfurth)
The logo for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is displayed inside the George A. Navarre Borough Admin Building on Thursday, July 22, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Students struggle to hit 50% proficiency locally, statewide

Yearly standardized testing results for Alaska’s third through ninth grade students show higher overall proficiency rates in math and English among local students than statewide… Continue reading

The logo for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is displayed inside the George A. Navarre Borough Admin Building on Thursday, July 22, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Homer High School is seen in this undated photo. Homer and Seward area schools are no longer operating with universal indoor masking for staff and students as of Friday. (Homer News file photo)

Masking status varies at peninsula schools

KPBSD uses criteria outlined in revisions to the district’s mitigation plan.

Homer High School is seen in this undated photo. Homer and Seward area schools are no longer operating with universal indoor masking for staff and students as of Friday. (Homer News file photo)
Matt Morse is photographed on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Matt Morse is photographed on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Benjamin Miller is pictured on Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Benjamin Miller is pictured on Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
The logo for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is displayed inside the George A. Navarre Borough Admin Building on Thursday, July 22, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Nikiski North Star goes to universal masks

Universal indoor masking for staff and students was instituted at Nikiski North Star Elementary School and extended for two weeks at Paul Banks Elementary School… Continue reading

The logo for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is displayed inside the George A. Navarre Borough Admin Building on Thursday, July 22, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
A sign in front of Kenai Middle School is seen on Sept. 2, 2021, in Kenai, Alaska. The school recently suspended indoor mask requirements for students and staff. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

2 schools suspend indoor mask requirements

Kenai Middle School and Sterling Elementary Schools are no longer requiring face masks in indoor settings for students and staff.

A sign in front of Kenai Middle School is seen on Sept. 2, 2021, in Kenai, Alaska. The school recently suspended indoor mask requirements for students and staff. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Everett Anderson, second grade, shows Principal John DeVolld some of his class work at Soldotna Montessori Charter School on Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

‘Like we’re a Blue Ribbon School every year’

Soldotna Montessori Charter School earns national recognition for high performance.

Everett Anderson, second grade, shows Principal John DeVolld some of his class work at Soldotna Montessori Charter School on Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Nathan Erfurth speaks before the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education on Monday, July 12, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

School board approves employee contracts, pay raises for school nurses

88% of KPEA’s voting members approved their contract and 99% of KPESA’s voting members approved their contract.

Nathan Erfurth speaks before the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education on Monday, July 12, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
A protester stands outside the George A. Navarre Borough Admin building in Soldotna on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)

Parents divided on masks

Some parents said they will keep their kids home if masks are required; others say they’ll keep their kids home if masks aren’t required.

A protester stands outside the George A. Navarre Borough Admin building in Soldotna on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Brie Drummond speaks in support of mask mandates on Monday, Sept. 13, for the Kenai Peninsula School Board meeting at Homer High School in Homer, Alaska. During a work session before the meeting, the district presented revisions to its COVID-19 mitigation protocols. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

School district revises COVID-19 mitigation plans

The revisions come as COVID-19 cases continue to surge in Alaska and on the Kenai Peninsula.

Brie Drummond speaks in support of mask mandates on Monday, Sept. 13, for the Kenai Peninsula School Board meeting at Homer High School in Homer, Alaska. During a work session before the meeting, the district presented revisions to its COVID-19 mitigation protocols. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
A sign in front of Kenai Middle School is seen on Sept. 2, 2021, in Kenai, Alaska. The school was one of more than a dozen Kenai Peninsula Borough School District schools operating with universal indoor masking due to rising COVID-19 cases. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

More schools go to universal indoor masking

More than 200 students have tested positive for COVID-19 since Aug. 23.

A sign in front of Kenai Middle School is seen on Sept. 2, 2021, in Kenai, Alaska. The school was one of more than a dozen Kenai Peninsula Borough School District schools operating with universal indoor masking due to rising COVID-19 cases. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Sterling Elementary welcomes students on the first day of school on Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Sterling Elementary welcomes students on the first day of school on Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai Peninsula Borough School District communications blog/Screenshot

Schools report more positive COVID-19 cases, more than 1,000 close contacts

Between Aug. 23 and Sept. 1, the district has been made aware of 180 COVID-19 cases, including 25 staff and 155 students.

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District communications blog/Screenshot
A sign welcomes visitors on July 7, 2021, in Seward, Alaska. Due to a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases, school in Seward and other areas of the eastern peninsula switched to universal indoor masking this week. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
A sign welcomes visitors on July 7, 2021, in Seward, Alaska. Due to a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases, school in Seward and other areas of the eastern peninsula switched to universal indoor masking this week. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Members of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education attend a meeting on Monday, July 12, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

4 peninsula schools require universal masking

Seward Elementary on Monday joined Port Graham School, Susan B. English School and Tebughna School in requiring masks due to a number of COVID-19 cases.

Members of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education attend a meeting on Monday, July 12, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)