Response to covid

This is the new version of the Alaska Teacher Placement (ATP) forum for teachers, education majors, and school administrators to discuss working and living in the state of Alaska. Those considering an Alaskan job, or considering a new Alaskan education job ask questions, and those with information and/or opinions provide answers. Although many users are teacher or principal candidates from the Lower 48, a large number of current and former school district HR and school administrators subscribe.

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Response to covid

Postby Holly406 » Sun Dec 20, 2020 1:46 pm

I notice covid announcements on many district websites tend to be from Spring 2020. Information about Fall 2020 does not seem common.

It would be helpful to know some of the challenges that teachers are facing right now, particularly outside of the cities.

Were you able to leave for the summer? What about travel for the upcoming holidays?
How was supply chain of food or school supplies impacted?
How is PD being conducted?
How are districts handling new remote teaching demands if students don't have access to internet at home?

Thanks!
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Re: Response to covid

Postby Johncn » Mon Dec 21, 2020 7:42 am

Hello,

It seems that each district is handling things a little differently. I know that some schools / some districts in rural Alaska have switched to remote learning, but I don't think there is a list of which are open or closed to in person instruction. At least I can't find one. ;-) I do know that some school districts have set up their own distance learning sites so that teachers can support students remotely via either wide area networks (not connected to the Internet, but connected to the school district's internal servers), while others are supplementing work packets with two-way video instruction. Some schools are open to only certain age groups, while others allow Special Education students in small groups, while closing to general education classroom groups. Each district was required to file a SMART Start reopening plan (see links below for more info) with Alaska EED, and here is what appears to be an updated Google Document showing each district's plan:

Alsaka COVID SMART Start Plans - Initial plans files by school district
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1PMpqGUXxV9cG7aQhZq91j2L35vU9AzjJtHLDi_k1Jno/view#gid=0

Regardless, the challenges are MANY in actual implementation, and ongoing as schools are open to some extent throughout the state. Each district has had to work with their teachers to come up with viable solutions. I hope that some teachers or administrators from specific districts will pitch in and let you know how they are coping, or what challenges they are facing on the questions you asked in the original post. It's a topic of interest to many, I'm sure.

Here is one district (Southwest Region) that has online learning classes set up online for each teacher and each student in each school, and has distributed devices to all of their kids. That alone is a huge undertaking. But, because not all students have Internet to connect their devices to, they also have had to supplement that with innovative techniques such as VHF radios, and some teachers have even been burning "old school" DVDs with lessons for students.

Going ‘old school’: How one rural Alaska community is keeping students engaged during quarantine
https://www.adn.com/sponsored-content/2020/12/17/going-old-school-how-one-rural-alaska-community-is-keeping-students-engaged-during-quarantine/

Here is general information that the Alaska Department of Education has shared with districts and communities about schooling during the crisis, as well as some resource links to see the "alert status" of specific districts and communities:

Alaska DEED COVID Information - Includes SMART Start Planning Guidance framework, archived video conferences with the State and districts, and many reference tools
https://education.alaska.gov/covid-19-information/alaska-smart-start-2020
https://www.alaskateacher.org/downloads/Alaska-SMART-Guidance4.pdf
https://education.alaska.gov/covid-19-information

Alaska Department of Health and Social Services Info
http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/Epi/id/Pages/COVID-19/schoolyear.aspx
http://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/Epi/id/Pages/COVID-19/alertlevels.aspx
https://coronavirus-response-alaska-dhss.hub.arcgis.com/

Alaska Association of School Boards (AASB) Covid District Updates
https://aasb.org/district-dispatches/

Ballotpedia Resources on Alaska School Closures / Opening Plans
https://ballotpedia.org/Alaska%27s_plan ... s_pandemic
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