Alaska Gateway School District is actively planning for the start of the 2020-2021 school year. The District has formed its Smart Start committees to determine how we will proceed in a way that maximizes safety AND learning. The committees are focused on a variety of areas including curriculum, instruction, special education, safety, and logistics.
AGSDs planning framework will be aligned with the State of Alaska’s “Smart Start 2020” framework for the 2020-2021 school year. The school start and reentry framework consists of three different risk categories (Low, Medium, High) and will assist Districts across the state of Alaska to create reopening plans for each category. CLICK HERE for more information on Alaska’s Smart Start framework.
To align with the “Smart Start 2020” framework, AGSD will develop plans for how we will conduct school at each risk level. While we are still in the planning process regarding many specific details, the District has general understanding of what conducting school at each risk level may look like.
Low Risk: Classes would be conducted in AGSD school buildings and would be as close to “normal” as possible. However, schools will implement certain safety protocols to ensure the safety of students and staff. These safety protocols will follow the recommendations of the CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and State medical professionals.
Medium Risk: In a medium risk scenario, it is possible that a school may have to close intermittently for shorter or longer periods of time, with face-to-face school still occurring in between. In these cases, the affected school would incorporate hybrid of in-class and online learning. This option will be challenging to implement, as it contains the highest number of variables and planning factors, and requires schools and families to be ready to pivot between face-to-face and online learning on a moments notice
High Risk: School would most likely be conducted entirely online with no student/staff contact in school buildings. In planning for this option, the District is building upon many lessons learned and community input during the end of the prior school year when we first experienced shut-downs due to Covid-19. This year, if the move has to be made to online learning, whether for a shorter or longer period of time, students will be required to attend classes online, and will be held accountable for learning.
As the COVID-19 situation remains fluid and unpredictable, schools must be prepared for multiple possibilities. For this reason, at the beginning of the school year, educators will upload their classes into an online learning management system so they can rapidly transition to teach through a hybrid or online learning environment as needed. Due to the tremendous amount of work involved in this undertaking, teachers will need additional time to plan at the start of the school year. Therefore, the first day of school for students has been pushed back to Tuesday, August 25, 2020. This will provide our teachers additional time to prepare, and allow for safety procedures in the buildings to be finalized so that we are ready for students!