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Mat-Su schools will reduce classroom days to 4 a week in effort to limit spread of COVID-19

The Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District announced new plans for its secondary students’ schedules this fall as part of its effort to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Students in grades six to 12 will attend school four days a week, and Fridays will be at-home learning days, according to the new plan announced Friday. That will limit the potential spread of the virus, the district said. Custodial staff will use Fridays to disinfect the schools, according to the plan.

Students will also take six classes instead of seven, and class schedules will alternate each week: for one week students will attend three of their six classes and the next week students will attend the other three.

Also last week, the Mat-Su school district announced a change in its mask policy and now requires face coverings for students in grades three to 12, marking a tightening of its coronavirus-related precautions.

The school district had previously planned to begin the school year with in-person classes five days a week and had only recommended that students and teachers wear masks.

“There is no single solution that can address all of the needs of our students that does not come with a list of strengths and challenges,” Superintendent Randy Trani said in a written statement. “This particular solution prioritizes the need for students’ education to have continuity across the entire year while simultaneously addressing health concerns of the entire school community.”

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly said the Mat-Su school district is requiring face coverings for students in grades four to 12; it is requiring face coverings for students in grades three to 12.

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