Sept. 14: Message from the Superintendent
Sept. 14, 2020
Dear ASD Families and Staff,
As I welcome you back to what has already proven to be a school year like none other, I would like to wish Quyana to the ASD Community. Quyana, a Yup’ik expression, translates in English as an expression of gratitude.
Quyana to our teachers and staff. I am inspired by your creativity as you implement social emotional learning via
Zoom. Quyana to our families who have rearranged schedules, coordinated technology, and created a space for your students to achieve their education goals while our school buildings are closed. Quyana to our community partners for providing technology and other services to help students succeed. Read on in this issue for stories of ASD teachers, staff, and community members who are rising to the challenge to bring education to life through eLearning platforms.
As we round out week four of learning in a High-Risk model, I’d like to remind you that regardless of where students learn, we will drive forward to make our mission possible—to educate all students for success in life.
Please know my goal is to get students back in school buildings as quickly and safely as possible. Case numbers continue to trend down in the Anchorage area, and new considerations from the CDC suggest schools take into account additional factors including the ability to mitigate spread and also the impact on student’s social- emotional, behavior, and mental health. Additionally, new research from the British Medical Journal (shared by Dr. Anne Zink) shows mitigation factors we have in place, including mandatory face mask protocols, work to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19.
Last week ASD allowed full high school sports practices to begin. This smaller, voluntary, and more controlled group has demonstrated that with detailed safety mitigation plans, student groups can safely begin returning to in-person educational environments. Begining September 28, we will launch a volunteer pilot reading tutor program in select schools for students based on greatest need, to build confidence and competency. We will follow proper mitigation plans while the tutoring groups meet.
My goal is to have elementary and all self-contained special education students back in school by the second quarter. The District will continue to watch the Anchorage case count, and factor in new information from recent studies and health professional recommendations. We plan to make an announcement on the way forward September 15.
My top priority is the safety and well-being of our students and staff. Together, we have what it takes to ensure our students enjoy great learning experiences regardless of today’s challenges.
Deena M. Bishop, Ed.D. Superintendent