Remote Learning

Maggie Nelson/KUCB

Unalaska City School District officials are planning for a limited in-person graduation ceremony for the Class of 2021 on May 15. 

There will likely be some restrictions on who is allowed to join the 25 seniors as they turn their tassels, according to Superintendent John Conwell.

"Due to the physical distancing requirements needed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, it is anticipated that only the graduates and their families will be able to attend the ceremony in person," Conwell said. 

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.

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.


Laura Kraegel/KUCB

Under the district's latest revision of its Smart Start 2020 plan, Unalaska students will once again return to their classrooms beginning Monday, Feb. 1. 

The Unalaska School Board approved the district's revisions five to one at its special meeting on Monday. After suggesting opening schools later in the semester, Fernando Barrerra was the only board member to vote against moving forward with the district's revisions.

Courtesy of UCSD Administration

Unalaska students will continue with distance learning for the time being, while school administrators finalize a reopening plan. 

Administrators presented revisions of the district's Smart Start 2020 plan to the school board on Wednesday. The draft of revisions includes cohort systems, staggered schedules and remote teaching options. 

The plan also outlines how many positive coronavirus cases would determine when students are in the classroom, learning remotely or a hybrid of the two.