The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District has extended remote learning status for schools in all three of its main regions through at least Thanksgiving break due to the continued rise of COVID-19 cases on the peninsula.
The district announced Thursday that remote learning with buildings closed to in-person education will be extended for 34 schools in the central, eastern and southern peninsula through at least Nov. 25. Schools will already be closed for Thanksgiving on Nov. 26 and 27.
On the southern peninsula, that means the following schools will continue to operate with remote education:
Homer Flex School
Homer High School
Homer Middle School
Kachemak Selo School
McNeil Canyon Elementary School
Paul Banks Elementary School
West Homer Elementary School
Schools in the district’s remote communities, which are all still operating under low risk, will continue with in-person learning. Those schools — Cooper Landing, Hope, Nanwalek, Port Graham, Susan B. English in Seldovia, and Tebughna in Tyonek — continue to offer both in-person and remote learning options.
KPBSD has mitigation plans for how to handle education when different regions of the peninsula are in low, medium and high-risk levels. Regions of the Kenai Peninsula are put into low-, medium- or high-risk categories based on the number of new cases of COVID-19 identified in the regions over a 14-day period. This model is based on rates of cases per 100,000 population.
As of Friday, the southern peninsula (from Ninilchik south) was in the high risk category with 59 new cases in the last 14 days. The southern peninsula is in low risk if it has had zero to 9 new cases in the last 14 days, is in medium risk if there have been 10 to 19 new cases in the last 14 days, and is in high risk if there are 20 or more new cases in the last 14 days.
The central peninsula, including Kenai, Nikiski, Soldotna, Sterling and Kasilof, was also at high risk as of Friday, with 509 new cases over the last 14 days. The central peninsula would need to get down to 51 or fewer cases over a two-week period to get back down into the medium-risk category.
The eastern peninsula (Seward and Moose Pass) was also at high risk Wednesday with 28 new cases of COVID-19 within the last 14 days. The eastern peninsula would need to get down to seven or fewer new cases over a two-week period to get back down to the medium-risk category.
Get-It and Go meals continue to be available for daily pickup between noon and 1 p.m. Parents are encouraged to order by noon on Fridays. No meals will be served when schools are closed for Thanksgiving on Nev. 26-27.
Reach Megan Pacer at firstname.lastname@example.org.