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ASD asks drivers to be cautious of students who are returning to class Tuesday

Morning commuters asked to plan ahead and watch for children and buses
Published: Jan. 18, 2021 at 8:59 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - After nearly a year away from in-person learning, Anchorage School District students will return to their classrooms in a phased-in approach on Tuesday morning. ASD’s full fleet of buses will start their routes around 6:30 a.m.

In a normal year, back to school happens in the fall. Because of COVID-19, ASD’s return is in the dark.

“Students are now going to be out walking to school and at school bus stops,” ASD Senior Director of Transportation Heather Philp said. “We’re starting in the dark so it is imperative that we keep an eye out for our students. We ask parents if you have reflective material to put on the students that would be a huge help for us.”

APD School Resource Office Jonathan Butler said to not only be cautious of the dark but to give extra time getting to school so there’s no rush. Butler also mentioned a new law in place: the prohibition of using any handheld cell phone devices while driving on school grounds and in school zones.

If violated, the fine is $500 and also will add six points to the driver’s license.

“What we want people to be aware of is the school zones,” Butler said. “We have the school zone flashers turned on. Crossing guards taking kids across the street, we have posted school zone speed zones.”

Most of all, be on the lookout for students.

“Please be aware that our kids are going to be out there,” Philp said. “I can’t stress that enough, it’s imperative that you follow through and stop when you need to stop and pay attention when you’re in the neighborhood areas.”

Pre-K through second graders will return on Tuesday. All students at Whaley school, certain special education students and a handful of middle schoolers and high schoolers will also head back to school. If all goes well, third grade through sixth grade could return in about two weeks. All middle school and high school students are planning to return to start the fourth quarter in mid-March.

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