Here’s how the Anchorage School District will create a plan to restart school this fall

Anchorage School District Superintendent Deena Bishop gives a presentation to the school board during a virtual meeting live streamed May 26, 2020 (youTube screengrab)

Just one week after the school year officially ended, Anchorage School District Superintendent Deena Bishop shared how the district is creating a plan for restarting school in the fall. 

Bishop said she hopes to provide the school board with official recommendations by mid-July, during the Tuesday school board meeting. 

“The provisions that are put out by the state department may look similar to those that have been [put] out for businesses where you start small and you grow, or only 50% capacity,” Bishop said. “We don’t know yet, they haven’t been designed, but we want to be very transparent with our community that we’re planning for the new school year given those different scenarios.”

The district is putting together a task force with multiple working groups and a community advisory committee that will present recommendations and updates to the school board throughout the summer, with a goal of presenting a plan several weeks before the start of the school year. 

The Anchorage School District is putting together a task force to create a plan for reopening schools in the fall. The task force will “really look at and inform the programming, both when we’re in school as well as out of school and how to keep the fluidity of that learning going and will have to look different than the spring again” ASD Superintendent Deena Bishop said during a school board meeting presentation Tuesday May 26th.

“It won’t look the same [as it did in the Spring], it will be more rigorous and aligned as we move into the next year,” Bishop said. 

The task force will be putting together a plan using the guidelines put forth by the state education department’s Alaska ‘Smart Start 2020’ Framework.

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According to the state education department, the framework is meant to be flexible so that it can adapt to each district’s unique characteristics and local conditions. State and local health officials will determine the risk level and districts will develop their plans under that guidance. 

Bishop said the district also intends to request a waiver to change the school start date from August 18th to August 20th. The district will provide a formal presentation of all requested calendar changes, including planning for the November general election, to the board at the next board meeting on June 2nd. 

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