Juneau School District set to reopen with online-only classes on Aug. 24

Juneau School District. (07/14/20)
Juneau School District. (07/14/20)(KTUU)
Published: Aug. 4, 2020 at 2:26 PM AKDT
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JUNEAU, Alaska (KTUU) - Juneau School District is set to reopen for the fall semester with online-only classes.

The district had hoped earlier in the summer to reopen with a mix of in-person and online classes. On Tuesday, the announcement was made by an email to parents that Juneau schools would only offer distance learning, starting Aug. 24.

“Our goal is to balance educational needs with health and safety for our staff, students, families and community,” wrote Dr. Bridget Weiss, the Juneau School District superintendent. “By beginning the year with the most stable plan possible, we increase our ability to focus on quality education and to maintain a consistent schedule that families can plan around.”

If COVID-19 cases numbers fall, the model used in Juneau could change.

“In addition, after Labor Day, if the health status of our community stays stable, we will begin the process of inviting small cohorts of students in for some face to face instruction. These decisions will be made incrementally and focusing initially on students who have the biggest challenges learning via distance.” Weiss said.

Some of the students Juneau school officials described as facing the “biggest challenges” from online-only learning include special education students and students who are learning English as a second language.

Juneau’s plans mirror those of the Anchorage School District that had initially planned using a mixed learning model for the fall semester. The Matananuska-Susitna Borough School District also announced last week that it was scaling back in-person learning with COVID case numbers rising across Alaska.

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