An increase in COVID-19 positive cases in the Homer area has prompted Kenai Peninsula Borough School District officials to impose universal wearing of face masks at local schools. The schools affected are Paul Banks Elementary School, West Homer Elementary School, Fireweed Academy, Homer Middle School, Homer Flex School and Homer High School. The mask order remains in place through Sept. 21, when it will be reevaluated.
School District Risk Levels
The southern, central and eastern regions of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District all remain in the high-risk zone in terms of community spread of COVID-19.
Regions of the peninsula are put into low, moderate, substantial or high-risk categories based on the number of new cases of COVID-19 identified over a seven-day period. This model is based on rates of cases per 100,000 of population.
All students are currently able to attend onsite education five days a week in district schools. Any closures will be on a school, classroom or cohort level.
As of Wednesday, the southern peninsula (from Ninilchik south) is in the high-risk category with 120 new cases in the last seven days. The southern peninsula is in low risk if it has had zero to nine new cases in the last 14 days, is in moderate risk if there have been 10 to 49 new cases in the last 14 days, is in substantial risk if there have been 50 to 99 cases in the last 14 days, and is in high risk if there were 100 or more new cases in the last 14 days.
The central peninsula, including Kenai, Nikiski, Soldotna, Sterling and Kasilof, is at high risk with 311 new cases over the last seven days.
The eastern peninsula is at high risk with 40 new cases identified over the last week.
Schools operating with universal indoor masking for staff and students on Tuesday included Fireweed Academy, Homer Flex School, Homer High School, Homer Middle School, Kenai Middle School, Paul Banks Elementary School, Port Graham School, River City Academy, Seward Elementary School, Seward High School, Seward Middle School, Sterling Elementary School, Tebughna School and West Homer Elementary School.
Nanwalek School will operate in a remote instruction status through Sept. 14 in response to a “hunker down” order issued by the local community. Moose Pass School joined Nanwalek School in operating 100% remotely this week.
Homer Flex School
Sept. 13: District School Board meeting at Homer High School
Sept. 15: Early release day
Oct. 1: End of first rotation
TBD: Flex Advisory Board meeting
Sept. 13: Academic Policy Committee Meeting
Sept. 15: Early release day; LFW Open House; Annual Title I meeting
Sept. 16: BFW Open House; Harvest Festival
Sept. 17: Book Mobile visit
Sept. 22: School picture day
West Homer Elementary
Sept. 7 – Oct. 14: Cross Country Running starts, every Tuesday and Thursday
Sept. 8 – Oct. 13: Soccer starts, every Monday and Wednesday
Sept. 24: School pictures
McNeil Canyon Elementary
Sept. 14: Site Council meets at 3:30 p.m.
Sept. 15: Early release day
Sept. 16: After school learning lab starts
Sept. 17: Talk and dress like a pirate day
Sept. 22: Picture day
Sept. 23: Coast walk