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Mat-Su Borough School District amends schedule for 6-12 graders

MSBSD is currently planning to resume in-person classes as early as Aug. 19
MSBSD is currently planning to resume in-person classes as early as Aug. 19(KTUU Staff | KTUU)
Published: Jul. 31, 2020 at 3:53 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Channel 2 will be streaming a live broadcast of a Q&A with MSBSD Superintendent Dr. Randy Trani on our Facebook here starting at 4 p.m.

Students in grades 6-12 in the Mat-Su Borough School District will have fewer weekly classes and one at-home learning day, according to the district’s new plan.

The district announced changes to the schedule Friday but said the plan for students in preschool, kindergarten and grades 1-5 will remain the same.

Among the new changes, the district will be replacing the 7-class schedule with six classes every two weeks. The classes will rotate on a week by week basis. In the first week, students and staff will have classes 1-3 from Monday to Thursday, the district said. The next week, students and staff would have the remaining three classes.

Friday will be for learning at home except for students with special needs who may need to be at the school for in-person for services.

Since learning on Friday will not take place in the school, the district says it will allow custodial staff to deep clean and disinfect facilities.

MSBSD Superintendent, Dr. Randy Trani, is starting his first year in the position this year. He said the benefit of the new schedule is that it prioritizes education.

LIVE: Mat-Su Borough speaks on school schedule changes

Happening Now: MSBSD answers questions on its changes to the school schedule for 6-12 graders.

Posted by Channel 2 News, KTUU.com on Friday, July 31, 2020

“There is no single solution that can address all of the needs of our students that does not come with a list of strengths and challenges,” Trani said in a prepared statement. “This particular solution prioritizes the need for students’ education to have continuity across the entire year while simultaneously addressing health concerns of the entire school community.”

The amended plan seeks to limit potential virus spread and says the changes will reduce transmission by 20%.

Core classes like math, science, English and social studies will still be part of the school year but with students alternating subjects each week.

“Things have changed pretty rapidly in the last week,” Trani said adding that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has come out with new guidance that impacted the Alaska Smart Start plan.

“It balances that against the student’s ability to have continuity of learning across the entire school year. If we had only three classes in a quarter, you could end up in a situation where students go many many months without instruction in a particular field,” Trani said.

The plan further states this change “provides consistency and predictability when/if we transition back and forth between At-School and At-Home Learning.”

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