January 12, 2022
To all KIBSD Staff and Families:
There comes a point when, despite our strongest desire and exceptional efforts to remain open to in-person learning, we must make the difficult decision to transition to remote learning to ensure the health and safety of our students, staff, and our community. As a District, we are experiencing extreme staff shortages in every building and have been utilizing every available teacher, aide, specialist, administrator, and substitute in the effort to remain open. Today, the district has over 60 certified and classified staff absent, with only twelve substitutes available. Maintenance and Custodial crews are functioning with only three or fewer staff in attendance. At the High School alone, over 145 students and staff are out of the building for isolation or quarantine. District-wide the number is close to 300. We believe that the best place for kids to be is in school. I am very proud of my staff, having made every attempt to keep our schools open, but there comes a time where we must say that transitioning to remote learning is in the best interest of our students and staff.
With this in mind, all students in KIBSD Town Schools will begin remote instruction on Thursday, January 13, 2022, with the intent of returning to an in-person schedule on Tuesday, January 18, 2022, following Monday’s District-wide inservice. Your family will be receiving more detailed information from your student’s school this evening. On Thursday and Friday, breakfast and lunch will be available for pick up at the High School main entrance from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for all KIBSD town students. Any continuation of remote learning beyond this week will be announced as further information is evaluated, though we fully anticipate reopening on schedule on Tuesday, January 18th.
We are closely monitoring changes in COVID-related guidance from the CDC and the Alaska Department of Health, and are seeking input and recommendations from our local health care providers as we navigate this current surge. The epidemiology and science behind COVID-19 has changed since the pandemic began nearly two years ago, and our protocols for managing and mitigating the virus are changing with it, as you would expect. The District continues to procure home test kits, and plans to provide another drive-thru testing and testing supply pick up event later this week. Please watch the KIBSD website and Facebook page for information on this event.
We hope to be able to return to in-person instruction on January 18, 2022 and continue in that capacity. Keeping our buildings open is the shared responsibility of our schools and our entire community. If you have any questions, please contact your school principal.