September 22, 2021
This has been an interesting start to the school year. Even if it’s not been quite the school year we had hoped for, KIBSD schools continue to be places where students want to be. Watching students greet their friends and teachers with joy helps us all to remember why school is so important.
Many of you are monitoring and are concerned by the number of positive COVID-19 cases reported daily in our schools and community. We hope to see reduced contagion soon, but I want to reassure you that we continue to closely follow our district protocols and consult daily with a team of medical professionals to make the best decisions possible. Each individual case is unique and must be considered individually.
We believe that schools continue to be the safest place for Kodiak kids. Every day that we can keep schools open is a day that students can be monitored and supervised, connected with caring adults, and engaged in quality instruction. When children are in school, we can provide for their educational needs and their basic needs like food and clothing. In school, our staff can closely monitor for abuse and neglect and can provide timely support for students’ social emotional well-being.
Closing schools is complicated. It impacts the ability of families to work and to provide for their children. In some cases, it also unfortunately means that some children are not adequately supervised or cared for. When schools close, some families can provide support, spaces, and supervision for quality learning at home, while others cannot, despite their best efforts. Families are doing the best they can in any circumstance, but in order to provide equitable, accessible education, we want to do everything we can to keep schools open.
We are making every effort to avoid closing classrooms or schools by adhering to our outlined procedures, both proactive and reactive.
These include but are not limited to:
- Conducting thorough, timely contact tracing for each positive case
- Implementing asymptomatic testing for both staff and students
- Isolating during quarantine time periods
- Consultation with the team of medical professionals that act as local advisors to KIBSD
- Timely testing
- Supportive nursing staff to help families determine timelines for testing and re-entry
- Strong communication between families and the schools
Contact tracing by KIBSD has been effective and thorough. Student that are named as close contacts should stay home, limit their interactions with others as much as possible and disengage from community activities during their quarantine period.
Please remember that it is essential for schools to know of any positive cases that may affect their building. If your student tests positive for COVID-19 or has symptoms, please keep them home from school and communicate with the school nurse or staff as soon as possible. This allows for timely response and will help to limit contagion. If we can keep quarantine periods short, test in a timely manner and re-engage kids in their school programs quickly, then hopefully, we will see an end to the current situation.
Kodiak’s greatest strength is our ability to work as a community. We are collectively weaving a network of support under, around, and for kids. Thank you for doing your part to keep our kids safe and supported.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call my office.