Mat-Su Borough School District holds an informational meeting at Houston High School

Mat-Su Borough School District COVID informational meeting at Houston High. (July 28th, 2020)
Mat-Su Borough School District COVID informational meeting at Houston High. (July 28th, 2020)(KTUU)
Published: Jul. 28, 2020 at 10:50 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) -The Mat-Su Borough School District held its final COVID informational meeting on Tuesday at the Houston High School football field. During the meeting, the district explained its plan for returning to school in-person and online for grades 1-12 on Aug. 19, with kindergarten starting the following week.

The MSBSD Superintendent of Secondary Instruction, Justin Ainsworth, led the meeting and took questions from parents touching on a wide range of topics from bus transportation, J-512 sanitizer to clean classrooms, standardized testing and the balance between in-person and remote learning.

“If there is a confirmed COVID case at a school site that school will shut down temporarily,” Ainsworth explained.

Paperwork provided by the district at the meeting says it will not be taking temperatures of staff and students upon entry of school buildings, and they need the support of families to monitor their children. Mat-Su School District also says nurses will be available for students if they feel sick to conduct an evaluation, and the child will be sent home if they have COVID-19 symptoms.

Much of the time was spent discussing the recent decision to require students in grades 3-12, and staff, to wear masks throughout the school day.

“I cannot sit here and guarantee you 6 feet of social distancing is going to be maintained. I think that’s more of a reason why we made a decision on masks I know that’s a very charged conversation,” Ainsworth explained.

Among the many parents in the crowd was Shellie Sanders, a Houston parent of four who attended the Tuesday night meeting to address concerns about the upcoming school year.

“It’s an enormous decision whether to potentially expose my children or not,” Sanders said. “My main concern is exposing my husband who works up north in the villages, and is this a decision that could comprise our income.”

This is the final MSBSD informational meeting regarding COVID-19. You can find more information on the district’s reopening here.

Copyright 2020 KTUU. All rights reserved.

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