UPDATE: Multiple Mat-Su schools to stay closed until Dec. 14, borough says

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - 12/6 Update:

Willow Elementary (KTUU)

According to the Mat-Su Borough School District, several area schools will remain closed for longer than previously planned.

In an update to the school closure list hosted on the district website, Colony High School, Colony Middle School, and Finger Lake Elementary School will all be closed for students until Friday, Dec. 14. Staff will return the day prior, Dec. 13.

In addition to those schools, several other schools in the district saw updates to their overall status on Thursday.

Dena'ina Elementary, Goose Bay Elementary, Knik Elementary, Mat-Su Central, Redington, Wasilla High and Wasilla Middle will all open for students on Dec. 11. Houston High will open on Dec. 12, and Houston Middle will open on Dec. 13.

[A full list of Mat-Su Borough schools can be found here]

Original Story:

Most students in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough will return to class Thursday, December 6, according to a list released by the District Tuesday night. The long week out of school comes after a 7.0 earthquake damaged and made messes of most schools across the district Friday morning.

Families are reminded to send their children to school with water bottles and warm coats. The district is under a precautionary boil water notice, and warm coats and outdoor gear are needed in case an aftershock creates need for evacuation.

School activities will resume when academics resume.

Alaska Commissioner of Education Michael Johnson has told the district that the school closure days will not need to be made up, thus keeping the current school calendar intact.

Plans are also in place to help students and staff deal with the trauma of the earthquake, with emotional and psychological support available.

Parents are encouraged to talk through emergency scenarios with their children (how will your child contact you, what will the transportation plan be to reunite you with your child if school closes early, etc.), and to make sure their school has current emergency contact numbers for family members.

Students at six schools in the northern ends of the borough weren't affected by the quakes.

Though most students will be back at school Thursday, seven schools have no target opening date, with a “To Be Determined” status. Seven more schools have a tentative open date to students set for next Tuesday, Dec. 11, but all those schools are pending final inspection and approval.

Most of the schools on those latter two lists are in the southwest side of the Mat-Su Borough, in the areas closest to the quake’s epicenter. One of the schools, Houston Middle School, has already been determined by district officials to be unlikely to open for the rest of the school year. HMS’s sister school, Houston High School, is also in “to be determined” status. Others include Mat-Su Central School, Knik Elementary, Finger Lake Elementary, and Colony Middle and High Schools.

The schools with tentative dates set to open to students for Tuesday, Dec. 11, are Wasilla Middle and High Schools; Redington Jr./Sr. High School, which is located out Point Mackenzie Road; Dena’ina Elementary, just next door to Redington; Goose Bay Elementary, which is very close to Vine Road; and Big Lake Elementary. Those opening dates are all pending a final inspection and approval. Parents should keep checking the link above for the most updated list from the School District.

Anyone wishing to volunteer for a school is asked to reach out to the principal at the school their child attends.

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