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Unalaska Students Return To In-Person Learning

Laura Kraegel

Unalaska students returned to their classrooms Monday for the first time in over a month. 

The district made the decision to resume in-person learning last week, when the city returned to the "medium" coronavirus risk threshold, after two weeks without a new case of community spread.

According to Superintendent John Conwell, school will look very similar to how it did prior to Dec. 1 when the city moved to "high risk" and classrooms were closed

"We've got electrostatic [disinfectant] sprayers now that we're using daily to spray down really heavily used areas like hallways and some of the classrooms to save some time," Conwell said. "We have implemented that at the end of each day. But other than that, it's like what we were doing prior to Dec. 1. We felt like we were pretty successful with those [previous] mitigation protocols." 

Those mitigation practices include things like mask wearing, social distancing, and staggered schedules in high-traffic areas like the cafeteria and hallways.

Conwell said that the district is working on developing plans for keeping students in school even if the city moves back into the "high" coronavirus risk threshold.

Some strategies might include bringing in cohorts of students and staggering their schedules, he said.

Meanwhile, the city also lifted its "hunker down" order at a special City Council meeting last week, allowing Unalaskans to once again go into public and congregate in groups of more than 10 people. It also allows bars and restaurants to reopen to limited dine-in service at 50 percent capacity.

City facilities have also reopened to the public, the city said in a press release. Updated hours of operation can be found here


Hailing from Southwest Washington, Maggie moved to Unalaska in 2019. She's dabbled in independent print journalism in Oregon and completed her Master of Arts in English Studies at Western Washington University — where she also taught Rhetoric and Composition courses.
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