Hybrid Education

Courtesy of Hannah Vowell

For the first time since the beginning of the year, Unalaska students will soon return to their classrooms full-time. 

Schools plan to reopen to in-person learning after spring break, regardless of the island's coronavirus risk level, according to Superintendent John Conwell, who spoke at a special school board meeting on Wednesday.

With 90 percent of district employees and many residents who are considered most vulnerable now vaccinated against the coronavirus, Conwell said the district is ready to reopen its doors to students.

Maggie Nelson/KUCB

 

The Unalaska City School District is now in its fourth week of a mix between in-person and home-based learning. Groups of students have returned to their classrooms in the afternoons, Monday through Thursday, while working remotely in the mornings.   

And while most of the district's younger students are attending afternoon in-person classes, only about a third of upperclassmen have chosen to return, according to district officials.

Courtesy of Nayeli Ramirez

It's been nearly a year since Gov. Dunleavy closed public schools to help mitigate the spread of the coronavirus pandemic last spring. 

Since then, the Unalaska City School District has been bouncing back and forth between three different types of learning: home-based, in-person, and a combination of the two. And that 11-month juggling act has taken a toll on many of the island's teachers, parents, and students.

 

Maggie Nelson/KUCB

 

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact in-person learning in Unalaska, nearly a third of the island's high school population is failing at least one class, according to school officials. And some seniors could be at risk of not graduating.

Berett Wilber/KUCB

 

As the city contends with potential widespread exposure to the coronavirus, Unalaska's schools have begun to determine if and how they will provide in-person learning opportunities to students.