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School district wants your input on a plan for students displaced from earthquake-damaged Eagle River schools

  • Author: Matt Tunseth
  • Updated: February 8
  • Published February 8

ASD's Thomas Fenoseff, Sen. Dan Sullivan and ASD superintendent Deena Bishop look at damage to the wall of the gym at Eagle River Elementary School on Dec. 4, days after a magnitude 7.0 earthquake damaged structures across Southcentral Alaska. (Loren Holmes / ADN archive)

The Anchorage School District has released an online survey to solicit opinions on what to do about a pair of damaged schools in Eagle River.

The survey was announced to parents in a mass email sent by the district Friday night.

“The purpose of this survey is to seek community comments and recommendations concerning options for the next academic year,” reads the survey.

The district has scheduled four public meetings over the next two weeks to discuss the situation at Gruening Middle School and Eagle River Elementary School, both of which suffered major damage in the Nov. 30 earthquake. The meetings will include ASD officials and members of an ad hoc committee of Anchorage School Board members chaired by board member Elisa Snelling of Eagle River.

Students from Gruening have been attending classes at Chugiak High, while students from Eagle River Elementary have been housed at Ravenwood, Birchwood ABC and Homestead elementary schools.

Meetings will be held Feb. 12 and 21 at Chugiak High and Feb. 13 and 20 at Eagle River High. All four meetings are at 6 p.m. Officials will discuss secondary education options at the Chugiak High meetings, while elementary school options will be addressed at the Eagle River High meetings. The Feb. 20 and 21 meetings will give a summary of input.

Only short-term solutions will be addressed at the meetings. The online survey focuses on what the district should do during the 2019-20 academic year.

The seven-question survey released Friday asks questions about both elementary and secondary schools. In addition to questions seeking demographic data, the survey includes three questions that pertain to elementary and secondary school options for next year.


Which of these elementary attendance options are you most in favor of for the 2019-2020 school year?

• Continue the current solution: Eagle River Elementary K,1,2,3 students attending Homestead Elementary and Eagle River Elementary 4,5,6 students attending Birchwood ABC Elementary

• Temporary realignment of Eagle River Elementary attendance area boundaries with other local schools in an effort to keep families together

• I have no preference

• None of the above

Where is the best short-term location for the Eagle River Elementary K-6 Open Optional Program for the 2019-2020 school year? (These options are based on available space in the Eagle River/Chugiak area)

• Fire Lake

• Remain at Birchwood ABC

• Homestead

• I have no preference

Which of these attendance options for secondary students are you most in favor of for the 2019-2020 school year?

• Continue to house Gruening Middle School at Chugiak High School

• Temporary realignment of Gruening Middle School attendance area boundaries to disperse students among Clark, Central, and Mirror Lake Middle schools

• Retain Gruening Middle School students at Chugiak High School and bus JBER Gruening Middle School students to Mirror Lake

• No preference

• None of the above


The final question includes a blank space for respondents to share other options or recommendations.

In the email sent Friday, the district said there will not be an opportunity for people to comment via an “open mic.” Instead, district spokeswoman Catherine Esary said Friday afternoon that the surveys are the best way for people to share input.

“It’s really just to allow people to speak through the survey to give them an equal voice,” she said.

The district said long-term solutions will be discussed at future meetings.

For more information, visit To take the survey, visit

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