• ASD’s planning framework will be nested within the State of Alaska’s “Smart Start 2020” framework for the 2020-21 school year. The school start and reentry framework consists of three different risk categories (Low, Medium, High) and will assist Districts to create reopening plans for each category. For information on Alaska’s Smart Start go to www.aklearns.org/smartstart2020.


    To align with the “Smart Start 2020” framework, ASD will develop plans to conduct school for each risk level. 


    The District’s plan is in concert with guidelines set forth by the CDC, AAP, the State of Alaska, the Municipality of Anchorage and others. Additionally, District leadership has consulted both local and state health officials and has incorporated their input into its planning. Please look to our website for the detailed information on the guidance resources.


    While the rolling average case count has been and remains a key piece of information in determining whether school should be held in person or online, the CDC and AAP suggest it should not be the only factor in determining reopening of school buildings. Rather, this data point is a start for a holistic decision-making process which must consider a host of other factors that assist in understanding the nature of the community spread. Additionally, it helps to provide a more accurate threat assessment for our students and staff. These factors include, but are not limited to: 

    • The specific nature of the community virus transmission
    • The District’s ability to mitigate virus spread through robust safety protocols
    • The District’s sanitization procedures
    • The District’s response plan when someone gets sick


    ASD’s plan considers other risks for which the American Academy of Pediatrics has evidenced in regard to students’ wellbeing when school is not open for face-to-face classes:

    • The impact on social-emotional needs
    • The impact on behavioral and mental health
    • The absence or reduction of critical services (e.g. school lunch programs, special education services, after-school programs, mental health services)


    Of note, ASD has revised its plan of utilizing a 50 percent, hybrid model in lieu of new Harvard research which suggests that hybrid models may actually increase the viral spread. Further analysis by the District also suggested that the hybrid model would be overly complicated for families, would create higher workloads for staff, and would present significant challenges for busing. As a result, the District’s revised plan includes one medium-risk plan in which students attend school five days a week for 5.5 hours each day. We are in the process of balancing our class sizes to keep the class counts as low as possible.

  • Updated September 16, 2020

    ASD in School


    Low Risk

    Medium Risk

    High Risk

    How many days at school?

    5 days a week

    5 days a week

    0 days a week

    Who attends at school?

    All students

    All students

    No students

    How long is the school day?

    Full student day

    6.5 hours

    5.5 hours a day


    How many eLearning days?

    Only for a school cancellation

    Only for a school cancellation


    5 days a week


    Teaching & Learning

    Instruction in physical setting using ASD curriculum (Traditional Model)

    Instruction in physical setting and online using ASD curriculum (Blended Model)

     Instruction online using ASD curriculum (eLearning Model)

    ASD at Home


    Opt-in Choice: ASD Virtual

    • Full-time online program regardless of risk level

    • Dedicated online curriculum aligned to standards

    • ASD virtual teachers facilitating learning

    • Continue to be enrolled at neighborhood school or school of choice

    • Access activities at neighborhood school or school of choice

    Enrollment Choice

    • Correspondence through ASD homeschools

Risk Level FAQs

  • Who is making these health risk decisions?

  • What happens if community risk levels are stable or dropping?

  • What happens if risk levels rise to High Risk in Anchorage?

  • Moving between risk levels will be very disruptive for families. How much lead time will families have to transition from one risk level to another?

  • Will the 14-day rolling average be the sole factor that triggers a move from one risk level to another? Or will there be other, unpublished, considerations?

  • What should families do if they are looking for longer periods of consistency for their own planning purposes?

  • I am not comfortable with my student(s) being in a classroom for any length of time, regardless of the risk level. What are our options?

  • Given the state level definitions of low, medium and high, what does that mean for ASD specifically around the start of sports?

Last Modified on September 16, 2020