The Anchorage School District announced that Wednesday will be another remote learning day for its students, saying neighborhood road conditions in the city are unsafe.
It will be the third remote learning day in a row and the fourth in the past week for Anchorage students and staff as the city digs out from back-to-back early-season snowstorms. Road conditions were still challenging in many parts of the city on Tuesday and snow removal crews were struggling to keep up.
After-school activities and community rentals were also canceled for Wednesday, the district said in a statement Wednesday morning.
All Mat-Su schools will be open Wednesday and school buses are running as normal, the district announced early Wednesday.
The Anchorage School District sent many of its bus drivers out on roads throughout the Anchorage Bowl on Tuesday to evaluate “our ability to safety operate bus transportation outside the major road networks,” district officials said in the statement.
“Large vehicles and small vehicles continue to get stuck,” the district said. “Some are left abandoned in the street preventing snow removal teams from clearing the roads.”
In the statement explaining the rationale for holding another remote learning day, the district cited the safety of students and staff is its “top priority.” District officials have had several meetings with municipal partners, according to the statement, “and they are confident that their big push over the next 36 hours will allow us to safely reopen all of our schools on Thursday morning.”
The district’s statement described the past several days as “an unprecedented situation.”
Following the school district’s announcement, Mayor Dave Bronson’s office issued a statement emphasizing the amount of snow that fell over the past week and the work being done by city snow-removal crews.
“I’m really disappointed that schools will be closed for another day,” Bronson’s statement said. “Street maintenance crews have been working 24/7 to get the roads cleared after a week of record-breaking snowfall. We are in constant communication with ASD throughout the day and provide them with frequent updates on the snowplowing operations. Ultimately, it is their decision, and we will continue working to get residential areas cleared so schools can open again, and buses can transport students safely.”
Earlier Tuesday, district officials said schools are not likely to open until most residential streets have been plowed.