KPBSD Smart Start 2020

Alaska Smart Start

Dear parents, students, staff, and Kenai Peninsula Borough communities:

This webpage will be updated over the Summer of 2021, to share the COVID-19 operation plan for the school year beginning in August 2021. This is the message and content for the 2020-2021 school year that ended in May, 2021.

The critical mission of KPBSD is to provide equitable educational support and opportunities for all students, all school year. The KPBSD Smart Start Plan is the framework for operations and delivery of education in this year of the coronavirus. Visit the KPBSD COVID-19 web hub for information paths to everything you will need to know, and read the most up to date Smart Start plan.

Original letter about the Smart Start plan from Superintendent O'Brien, June 18, 2020.

Smart Start for the 2020-2021 School Year

The KPBSD Board of Education approved a revised Smart Start plan on December 7, 2020, which makes provisions for more students to attend school onsite during High COVID-19 Risk levels (Red). The original plan adopted by the Board of Education on July 13, 2020, continues to evolve. The primary goal is schools will safely open in August and remain open to educate PreK-12 grade youth on the Kenai Peninsula. This will take everyone working together to minimize community transmission of COVID-19. The KPBSD Smart Start plan includes parent choice between in-school-classroom learning, remote learning from a neighborhood school, and Connections Homeschool options. Equitable educational support is core, and safety measures will be in place for the health and positive social-emotional learning during the ongoing global pandemic.

Planning background

Update 12/15/20: In October and November 2020, as COVID-19 community transmission continued to rise across the Kenai Peninsula, the original Smart Start planning team of 21 administrators and educators, plus an additional seven new members, worked to create adaptations to safely bring more students to school onsite during High Risk (Red) operations.

Original July 2020: Administrators and educators began working in May, following the 2020 Alaska Smart Start Restart & Reentry Framework for Alaska K-12 schools. Committees designed multiple components that relate to instruction and instructional support. Areas include health and safety, staffing, school schedules including flexible or alternative options, instruction, classroom design, assessment, transportation, logistics, etc. In the summer, several focus groups will meet that include our publics: parents, students, staff, community partners, municipalities. KPBSD will communicate regularly about progress with planning for the late August school start, and the Board of Education will receive updates during the July and August meetings.

Low-Medium-High COVID-19 Risk in Communities

KPBSD implemented an operational plan to indicate low, medium, or high risk of COVID-19 community transmission in a region or geographical area. Decisions are based on state data, local current information from the DHSS and public health, consultation with the KPBSD Medical Advisory Board, and the KPBSD Confirmed Case in a School Decision Matrix. You can view the COVID-19 Risk Dashboard, or the visual map of KPBSD schools. The Symptom Free Protocol that began in the spring of 2020 continues to be in effect during the 2020-2021 school year.

[ updated: 12-16-20 ]