Anchorage School District will not resume in-person learning until after winter

The Anchorage School District has announced that schools will not resume in-person classes until after winter break because of increasing confirmed COVID-19 cases in the city.

Superintendent Deena Bishop made the announcement Wednesday in an email to families and employees, saying that challenges including school staffing and strained hospital staff played into the decision, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

Bishop said students will stay in online instruction through Dec. 17, when winter break is scheduled to begin. It is the third postponement of in-person classes this school year.

Bishop had originally planned to phase some elementary students back into classrooms starting Nov. 16, but she postponed the plan earlier this month. A new school date was not determined.

“The District continues its planning for a gradual, phased-in approach to starting in-person learning, as our sights are set on getting kids back into school buildings just as soon as community conditions allow,” Bishop said.

The district will also continue to hold small in-person tutoring sessions, she said. Following Thanksgiving, more than 50 schools are expected to also offer the sessions for students who need it most.

Studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick. For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.