Community Matters

  • ASD’s planning and decision-making process for determining the District’s risk level for conducting school takes multiple community factors into consideration. The District conducts this process in close conversation with the Municipality of Anchorage and the State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. 

     

    In recent months, organizations such as the Center for Disease Control, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the World Health Organization have expanded their guidance and resources regarding safely providing public education. This new information includes a range of metrics and other criteria that allows districts, in close coordination with state and local health officials, to revise and adapt school opening guidelines based on the unique context of their community. 

New Criteria Guidelines

  • The new guidance provides districts greater latitude to adapt and revise school plans that consider not only the rate of community spread, but the ability to incorporate multi-step mitigation strategies.

     

    • Universal and correct use of masks in District facilities and buses
    • Social distancing to the greatest extent possible
    • Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette
    • Cleaning and disinfection
    • Adequate and readily available cleaning supplies and PPE
    • Contact tracing in collaboration with the Anchorage Health Department
    • Keep ASD Symptom Free -- Stay home at the onset of any symptoms 

     

    CDC: Indicators for Dynamic School Decision-Making

Additional Considerations

  • Additionally, ASD must consider other risks 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
      • School lunch programs
      • Special Education services
      • After-school programs
      • Mental health services

Decision Making Criteria

  • With this new guidance, ASD is moving towards a deliberately paced integration of students back into classrooms. This plan will allow us to maintain the highest level of mitigation factors outlined in the CDC's indicators and thresholds chart below while observing other risk indicators in our community.

  • Download a printable version of this chart 

     

    INDICATORS

     

    Lowest risk of transmission in schools

     

    Lower risk of transmission in schools

     

    Moderate risk of transmission in schools

     

    Higher risk of transmission in schools

     

    Highest risk of transmission in schools

    CORE INDICATORSASD Data as of 10/22

    Number of new cases per 100,000 persons within the last 14 days*

    <5

    5 to <20

    20 to <50

    50 to ≤ 200

    >200

    498

    Percentage of positive RT-PCR tests during the last 14 days**

    <3%

    3% to <5%

     

    5% to <8%

    7%

     

    8% to ≤ 10%

     

    >10%

    Ability of the school to implement 5 key mitigation strategies:

    • Consistent and correct use of masks

    • Social distancing to the largest extent possible

    • Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette

    • Cleaning and disinfection

    • Contact tracing in collaboration with local health department

    Schools should adopt the additional mitigation measures outlined below to the extent possible, practical and feasible.

    Implemented all 5 strategies correctly and consistently

    Implemented all 5 strategies correctly but inconsistently

    YES

    Implemented 3-4 strategies correctly and consistently

    Implemented 1-2 strategies correctly and consistently

    Implemented no strategies

    SECONDARY INDICATORS

    Percent change in new cases per 100,000 population during the last 7 days compared with the previous 7 days (negative values indicate improving trends)

    <-10%

    -10% to <-5%

    -5% to <0%

    -0.5%

    0% to ≤ 10%

    >10%

    Percentage of hospital inpatient beds in the community that are occupied***

    <80%

    <80%

    80 to 90

    83

    >90%

    >90%

    Percentage of intensive care unit beds in the community that are occupied***

    <80%

    <80%

    80 to 90%

    88%

    >90%

    >90%

    Percentage of hospital inpatient beds in the community that are occupied by patients with COVID-19***

    <5%

    4.8%

    5% to <10%

    10% to 15%

    >15%

    >15%

    Existence of localized community/public setting COVID-19 outbreak****

    No

    No

    Yes

    YES

    Yes

     

    *Number of new cases per 100,000 persons within the last 14 days is calculated by adding the number of new cases in the county (or other community type) in the last 14 days divided by the population in the county (or other community type) and multiplying by 100,000.

     

    **Percentage of RT-PCR tests in the community (e.g., county) that are positive during the last 14 days is calculated by dividing the number of positive tests over the last 14 days by the total number of tests resulted over the last 14 days. Diagnostic tests are viral (RT-PCR) diagnostic and screening laboratory tests (excludes antibody testing and RT-PCR testing for surveillance purposes). Learn more on the Calculating Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Laboratory Test Percent Positivity: CDC Methods and Considerations for Comparisons and Interpretation webpage.

     

    ***Hospital beds and ICU beds occupied: These indicators are proxies for underlying community burden and the ability of the local healthcare system to support additional people with severe illness, including those with COVID-19. A community can be defined at the city, county or metro area level; federal analyses of hospital utilization rates within a community are typically conducted at the core-based statistical area (e.g., by metropolitan or micropolitan status).

     

    **** Sudden increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in a localized community or geographic area as determined by the local and state health department.

     

    Download a printable version of this chart

     

  • ASD will monitor the community COVID data on a daily basis; however, District risk-level decisions will be made every two weeks. The risk level will be subject to change based on direction from the Municipality or State.


  • Expired Model due to CDC updates, see above for current decision making data.

  • Municipality Alert Level

    Municipality Average Daily Incidence Over the Last 14 Days

    Municipality Interpretation

    High

     

    >29 Cases

    Widespread community transmission with many undetected cases and frequent discrete outbreaks

     

    Intermediate

     

    15-29 Cases

     

    Moderate community transmission with some undetected cases and infrequent discrete outbreaks

    Low

    <15 Cases

    Minimal community transmission

     


      

    Anchorage School District Level

     Decision Considerations

     

    High

     

    Greater than 29 new cases over a 14-day average

     

    Medium-High

    • 14-day average of new case numbers

    • High number of student and staff absenteeism due to illness

    • Ability to have adequate staffing for a safe environment

    • Need for additional physical distancing space for students and staff

    • Isolated “hot spots” within the Municipality

    • Other pertinent info from State, Community, and health officials

     

    Medium Low

    • 14-day average of new case numbers

    • Ability to have adequate staffing for a safe environment

    • No isolated “hot spots” within the Municipality

    • Other pertinent info from State, community and health officials

    Low

    Less than 15 new cases over a 14-day average

Last Modified on Thursday at 1:23 PM