Public Schools In Alaska Closed To Students; Residential Boarding Schools Send Students Home

Mar 17, 2020

LKSD school buses remain parked while schools are closed to children.
Credit Katie Basile / KYUK

On Friday, March 13, state officials announced that public schools in Alaska, including those in the Lower Kuskokwim School District, would be closed to students until March 30 in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Afterschool activities have also been suspended.

On Monday, March 16, Gov. Mike Dunleavy ordered that residential boarding schools, like Mt. Edgecumbe High School, would also have to send students home. He imposed a deadline that the schools be emptied of students by March 27.

“What we’re basically doing is expanding spring break,” Gov. Mike Dunleavy said at a news conference on March 13. “So during that time there will be no students in the public schools. And there will be teachers and staff doing in-service, and doing work days during that time.”

The Lower Kuskokwim School District and the Yupiit School District had already announced school closures through March 20 in response to the coronavirus threat. Dunleavy’s announcement extends that closure longer and across the state.

LKSD Superintendent Dan Walker stated that the school district is developing plans to continue educating students without the use of the classroom.