The Juneau School District building and Harborview Elementary School on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. Due to rising coronavirus the district announced late Thursday it would be delaying the start of Kindergarten class until after the New Year. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

The Juneau School District building and Harborview Elementary School on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. Due to rising coronavirus the district announced late Thursday it would be delaying the start of Kindergarten class until after the New Year. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

District delays kindergarten classes following emergency announcement

Message from Dunleavy prompted decision

The Juneau School District announced it is delaying the introduction of new cohorts of regular education students into schools for in-person instruction until after the New Year.

The district will continue to prepare for a transition to in-person learning which will begin no sooner than Jan. 11, the district said in a release. The tentative start date had been Nov. 30 for roughly 150 kindergarten students, said Kristin Bartlett, chief of staff for JSD in an email. School officials will watch local and district health conditions and will continue to be ready to invite additional students into school buildings when the time is right, according to the district.

[Governor issues health alert asking for COVID-19 diligence]

Teachers will continue delivering distance instruction for our students, district said. Current in-person opportunities for programs like Kinder Ready, Children’s House, internet support, Relationships and Leadership, Learning for Youth and some special education services that have been successful with effective mitigation strategies will continue, according to the statement. Operational status of these programs could change at any point, the district said, and officials will be watching the local health situation to make these determinations.

Many high school classes meet periodically for classes such as metals, auto, housebuild, small engines and basic construction, Bartlett said in her email. Other high school and middle school classes like music, jazz band, chemistry, statistics and English have also been held in person, she said.

Each week individual and small groups of students are invited into schools for extra support, to attend study sessions or to take exams, Bartlett said.

The district’s announcement followed a message from Gov. Mike Dunleavy sent to Alaskans’ phones using the state’s emergency messaging system asking for diligence around health protocols.

School officials are asking staff, the community and district families to listen to Dunleavy’s plea for adhering to strong personal mitigation practices and to do everything possible to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

• Contact reporter Peter Segall at psegall@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @SegallJnoEmpire.

More in News

(Juneau Empire file photo)
Aurora forecast for the week of April 8

These forecasts are courtesy of the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute… Continue reading

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Friday, April 12, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Thursday, April 11, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

The sky and mountains are reflected in the water on April 5, 2012, at the Kootznoowoo Wilderness in the Tongass National Forest’s Admiralty Island National Monument. Conservation organizations bought some private land and transferred it to the U.S. Forest Service, resulting in an incremental expansion of the Kootznoowoo Wilderness and protection of habitat important to salmon and wildlife. (Photo by Don MacDougall/U.S. Forest Service)
Conservation groups’ purchase preserves additional land in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest

A designated wilderness area in Southeast Alaska’s Tongass National Forest, the largest… Continue reading

A welcome sign is shown Sept. 22, 2021, in Tok. President Joe Biden won Alaska’s nominating contest on Saturday. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
Biden wins more delegates in Alaska and Wyoming as he heads toward Democratic nomination

President Joe Biden nudged further ahead in the Democratic nomination for reelection… Continue reading

Juneau Assembly members and other visitors examine a meeting room formerly used by the nine-member Alaska State Board of Education and Early Development on Monday, April 8, which is about 25% larger than the Assembly Chambers at City Hall. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Of three possible new City Hall buildings, one stands out — but plenty of proposed uses for other two

Michael J. Burns Building eyed as city HQ; childcare, animal shelter among options at school sites.

Senate President Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, speaks to members of the Senate majority caucus’ leadership group on Friday. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Schools, university and projects across Alaska are set to receive money from new budget bill

Alaska Senate sends draft capital budget to House as work continues on a state spending plan

The Boney Courthouse in downtown Anchorage, across the street from the larger Nesbett Courthouse, holds the Alaska Supreme Court chambers. (Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)
Alaska judge strikes down state’s cash payments to families using correspondence school programs

Decision will become a ‘hot-button legislative item’ in final weeks of session, lawmakers say.

A statue of William Henry Seward stands outside the Dimond Courthouse in downtown Juneau. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire file photo)
Juneau man convicted of sexual abuse of 15-year-old girl more than four years after incidents occur

JPD: Randy James Willard, 39, sent explicit videos to and engaged in sexual contact with victim.

Most Read