Central Peninsula schools rise to High Risk

News Release: 17 KPBSD schools in Central Peninsula will open with 100% remote learning on August 24, 2020

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District

Soldotna, August 18, 2020—COVID19 community transmission risk level jumped to High Risk (Red) on August 18, 2020, for the geographical region KPBSD defines as “Central Peninsula” when the State of Alaska positive COVID19 case count reported numbers today. This triggers a safety and operational decision for the school district about opening schools to onsite learning. The need to make rational and informed operational decisions is primary for the health and safety of our students, staff, and communities. In contrast, at this time, risk levels dictate schools in the Southern Peninsula (Homer area), Eastern Peninsula (Seward area); and schools in individual or remote communities* will all begin with the onsite school option available.

“Offering predictability for our families, staff, and communities is tricky during a global pandemic,” said Superintendent O’Brien. “I’ve made the difficult decision to suspend opening schools in central peninsula to onsite at school learning on August 24, 2020. I know how hard this is for our students who are excited to return to school, for families, and for our staff. I’ve looked at the science-based guidance to assist in our decision-making process, consulted with our KPBSD COVID19 Risk Level Medical Advisory Group, and am following our SmartStart plan. I am disappointed the positive case count appears to be trending with increases in high risk levels. Every day we will evaluate risk level trends and actual counts. To aid planning for families and eliminate a ping-pong effect back and forth between risk levels, I hope that if case levels in the central peninsula drop to a medium risk level, we can open schools to onsite learning after Labor Day, on Tuesday, September 8, 2020. We will continue providing district level updates every week, plus each school will communicate directly with their families.”

When a school moves into a High Risk (red) level, KPBSD will provide services and learning opportunities onsite in school for vulnerable students. In the SmartStart plan, Special Education PreK; Title I PreK; Kindergarten; and certain groups of students in special education will be able to attend school in person. Bus transportation will continue for students in special education who already receive special education bussing services. In all other instances, transportation will need to be provided by parents or guardians during high-risk levels. Please contact your school or case manager directly with questions.

Which schools are opening with High Risk, 100% Remote Learning?

Central Kenai Peninsula includes Kasilof to Sterling, extending through Kenai, Nikiski, Soldotna, and DHSS “other north” communities

  • Aurora Borealis Charter School
  • Kaleidoscope Charter School
  • K-Beach Elementary School
  • Kenai Alternative School
  • Kenai Central High School
  • Kenai Middle School
  • Mountain View Elementary School
  • Nikiski Middle-High School
  • Nikiski North Star Elementary School
  • Redoubt Elementary School
  • River City Academy
  • Skyview Middle School
  • Soldotna Elementary School
  • Soldotna High School
  • Soldotna Montessori Charter School
  • Sterling Elementary School
  • Other North: Tustumena Elementary School

What do parents and guardians need to know?

  • Schools will contact their families to give further instructions and respond to questions about the new school year beginning with 100% remote learning
  • Get It and Go Meals for students will begin Monday, August 24, 2020. Details will be in a separate communication
  • All sports competitions in the central peninsula are cancelled. This affects Kenai Central High School; Nikiski Middle-High School; Soldotna High School; Aurora Borealis Charter School; Kenai Middle School; and Skyview Middle School. KPBSD follows ASAA Return-to-Practice Protocols  
  • Pools: Kenai Central High School, Skyview High School, and Soldotna High School pools are closed to public use

How are risk levels determined?

The KPBSD COVID19 risk map shows low, medium, or high risk in three general areas of the Kenai Peninsula, and small communities. The risk determination is made in conjunction with the State of Alaska actual 14 day test counts, state seven day averages of positive cases, Public Health, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), the Alaska Department of Education and Early Learning (DEED), Kenai Peninsula cooperators, and the KPBSD COVID19 Community Risk Level Medical Advisory Group. Learn more.

Links

All links are accessible from the KPBSD webpage www.KPBSD.org, and your school will have updates and school specific news on their website, and through communications to families

webpage: COVID19 Risk Levels in KPBSD and new risk level dashboard

webpage: COVID19 and KPBSD

webpage: KPBSD 2020 Smart Start

webpage: Sports and Activities, and conditions for play

webpage: KPBSD School Start and End Times

Geographical Risk Areas

The KPBSD is divided into geographical risk areas:

Central Kenai Peninsula includes Sterling to Kasilof, extending through Kenai, Nikiski, Soldotna, and DHSS “other north” communities:
Aurora Borealis Charter School; Connections Homeschool; Kaleidoscope Charter School; K-Beach Elementary School; Kenai Alternative School; Kenai Central High School; Kenai Middle School; Mountain View Elementary School; Nikiski Middle-High School; Nikiski North Star Elementary School; Redoubt Elementary School; River City Academy; Skyview Middle School; Soldotna Elementary School; Soldotna High School; Soldotna Montessori Charter School; Sterling Elementary School and Other North: Tustumena Elementary School

Eastern Kenai Peninsula includes Seward area, including Moose Pass
Moose Pass Elementary School; Seward Elementary School; Seward High School; Seward Middle School

Southern Kenai Peninsula includes Homer area, north to Ninilchik, Anchor Point, Fritz Creek, and DHSS “other south” communities:
Chapman School; Connections Homeschool; Fireweed Academy; Homer Flex School; Homer High School; Homer Middle School; McNeil Canyon Elementary School; Paul Banks Elementary School; West Homer Elementary School; and Other South: Kachemak-Selo School;Nikolaevsk School; Ninilchik School; Razdolna School; Voznesenka School

Schools in Individual or Remote Communities

Cooper Landing School; Hope School; Nanwalek School; Port Graham School; Susan B. English School (Seldovia); Tebughna School

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