Dec. 2: ASD Superintendent Update 12:30PM
Dear Students, Staff, and Community Members,
I want to thank our great community for your support of the Anchorage School District. I know these are trying times for everyone, and I want to assure folks that I am committed to getting our schools up and running. We absolutely want our kids back in safe and functional classrooms, but I am going to do this in a safe and deliberate way.
I want to be clear. I am keeping our schools closed through Friday, December 7 to allow our staffs and maintenance crews to continue recovery operations in our schools. Our first day for students is Monday, December 10.
I want to state up front that our staff and students did great when the earthquake hit at 8:29 Friday morning. We participated in the Great Alaska Shakeout back in October, and I think that exercise and the drills we do through the school year keep us ready to react to any situation. Great job, Team!
This is a dynamic situation and the ASD is sharing the city’s available resources with businesses, municipal departments, and homeowners as we all recover from Friday’s earthquake. This will be a long process, and I want to share with you the scope of work ahead of us over the next several days. The District has 92 school buildings and facilities. The overall floor space exceeds 7.8 million square feet. It’s a big district, but we’re up to this challenge.
I want to share with you our plans to allow our staff to enter back into schools that are certified safe for re-entry. This will be a deliberate process.
Starting Monday morning, the administration will notify school principals of cleared schools that they may allow school staff to report to their schools during specified times. This will be a huge step to get our schools ready for students. The administration will provide a checklist to our teachers and staff to do the assessment and we will have our maintenance staff and custodians in our schools working side-by-side.
I also directed my staff to work directly with our community to allow some students back into schools in a safe and controlled manner to allow them to recover personal property and medications that were left inside. If there is an individual need to recover important items, please notify your principal. Thank you for your patience as we work through this.
In closing, I am very proud to serve you as your Superintendent of this wonderful District. It’s never lost on me as a parent that you permit us to care for your children. It’s an awesome responsibility. We will get through this together.
Dr. Deena Bishop