The Kodiak Island Borough School district announced Wednesday in a letter to parents that they will be returning to remote-learning, effective Thursday, with the hope of returning to in-person learning on Tuesday, January 18th.
This comes as COVID cases within the Kodiak Island Borough continue to rise to unprecedented levels. The Emergency Operations Center Wednesday reported 174 new cases of COVID 19. Those had been tested between January 4 and 11.
This has brought the active case count to 711 cases- that means 5% of the Kodiak Island Borough’s population is known to presently have COVID, using the data from the latest census in 2020.
According to the letter, the district has over 60 staff absent, with only 12 substitutes available. Over 145 staff and students at the Kodiak High School and 300 staff and students from the district at large are absent for isolation and quarantine.
Superintendent Larry LeDoux says that the district just exhausted its supply of healthy staff.
“We did not want to do this, we’ve been doing everything possible to keep the schools open and to fight that battle. But you have to have staff and you have to have principals in the hallway with kids instead of teaching classes and you have to have aides there to help people achieve their goals. And you have to have a safe environment for kids. So it just reached a point where we’re having to go remote. And it’s a difficult decision. I’m really troubled about it. I believe it’s the right decision. But it’s not a decision I wanted to make. And I hope I don’t have to make it again the rest of the year,” LeDoux said.
Breakfast and lunch will be available to pick up from the High School main entrance between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. for all students Thursday and Friday.
There will be a second testing and supply pickup event occurring later this week, according to the school. A date and time have yet to be announced.