Stories about education.

Katie Basile / KYUK

With the start of the school year rapidly approaching, what will school look like? The answers are changing as guidelines from the state change and the pandemic spikes in Alaska. 

Dean Swope / KYUK

Concern about the coronavirus is delaying the start of school by a couple of weeks. The new start date is Aug. 24. Lower Kuskokwim School District Superintendent Kimberly Hankins said that the district is requiring all teachers flying into the region to be tested for COVID-19 at the airport, and self-quarantine for two weeks before taking on classroom duties. 

With the beginning of the school year around the corner, the Bethel 4-H Program is still working to put its after-school programs in place. The problem is how to do it safely to protect students and staff from the coronavirus.


Compared to the rate at the beginning of this decade, almost twice as many kids entering the Lower Kuskokwim School District are now successfully graduating.

The Lewis Angapak Memorial School stands abve other buildings in Tuntutuliak.
Rashah McChesney / Alaska's Energy Desk

When Y-K Delta villages locked down travel several months ago, the Lower Kuskokwim School District had to shut down construction on several new schools being built. Throughout the beginning of summer, construction crews have taken advantage of the relaxed restrictions to resume work. It’s a fragile arrangement, as new COVID-19 cases threaten to bring back village travel restrictions.

Homework packets were available for parents to pick up at Gladys Jung Elementary School on March 18, 2020.
Katie Basile / KYUK

This fall, social distancing at the Lower Kuskokwim School District will mean fewer students at a time in school buildings, and there will be new ways of staying connected while students learn from home.

The State of Alaska courthouse in Bethel, Alaska.
Dean Swope/KYUK

The first of two lawsuits against the Lower Kuskokwim School District for its role in alleged sexual abuse of minors is scheduled for trial in the fall of 2021.

LKSD is making its social workers available to students and parents following the arrest of Gladys Jung Elementary School Principal Chris Carmichael.
Lower Kuskokwim School District

There are at least four changes in the Lower Kuskokwim School District’s top administrative positions in Bethel for the next school year, but they’re all familiar faces. Current Assistant Superintendent Kimberly Hankins’ promotion to superintendent caused a ripple effect going all the way to the Bethel Regional High School. 

Racquel Slim rides in the BRHS graduation parade on May 16, 2020 in Bethel, Alaska.
Katie Basile / KYUK

Resiliency and overcoming obstacles on the way to adulthood are common themes of commencement speeches. This year, those themes took on new meaning when addressed to the region’s 2020 high school graduates.

Tatyana Avugiak of Chefornak and Kaylee King of Mekoryuk are KYUK interns, and will be high school seniors starting in the fall of 2020.
Courtesy of Tatyana Avugiak and Kaylee King

Doing schoolwork at home is tough, especially in rural villages where internet is limited and access to teachers requires a phone call. But that that’s what many students have been forced to do during the coronavirus pandemic.