Education

Anchorage schools reopen Tuesday, while Mat-Su schools continue remote learning

Anchorage Snowstorm

After a four-day closure following back-to-back winter storms, the Anchorage School District told families to prepare to return students to school on Tuesday “barring any unforeseen weather conditions,” it said in an email Monday evening.

Anchorage schools have been closed since Wednesday, the longest period the district has shuttered schools due to inclement weather.

“We know there are more streets that need plowed and sidewalks shoveled,” the email said. “Please assess the situation for your family. This is about parent choice. Excused absences will be granted for students if families deem it necessary not to send them to school tomorrow.”

Bus pickups may be delayed due to road conditions, the school district told families. It encouraged families driving to school to carpool if possible.

“Schools will be prepared for late arrivals,” the district email said.

The school district will notify families of changes to after-school activities by noon, it said, but if there are no changes students can plan to attend.

Acting ASD chief operating officer Rob Holland said crews were chaining up buses Monday evening.

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“They’re big, heavy vehicles, and then you add chains to that mix and they’ll have the best go at that possible,” Holland said. “That will cause some delays, they will do the best they can.”

The district is advising caution Tuesday, Holland said.

“We really believe that that if we get 75% of our kids to school or more tomorrow, then that’s a great win for the community,” Holland said.

The Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District said Monday evening that all schools in the district would continue remote learning on Tuesday, citing hazardous road conditions.

Most Mat-Su students attended school remotely last Wednesday, Thursday and Monday, after the first of two major winter storms hit Southcentral Alaska.

The Mat-Su school district said it would have an update on after-school activities scheduled for Tuesday by 11 a.m.

A spokesman for the Anchorage School District on Monday said it was unable to shift to remote learning like the Mat-Su district because the district had gone back to pre-pandemic classroom operations. Students would have needed certain materials from their teachers, and had their returned pandemic-era Chromebooks.

Correction: This article has been corrected to say that Mat-Su schools were open on Friday.

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