Anchorage School District tells parents to prepare for the possibility of an extended spring break

Anchorage School District Superintendent Deena Bishop at school district headquarters in 2019. (Zachariah Hughes/Alaska Public Media)

(UPDATE, Thursday, 2:50 p.m.: Anchorage schools to remain closed for one week after spring break amid coronavirus concerns)

The Anchorage School District sent an email to parents late Wednesday saying it would inform them by Friday if “a cancellation is called either at an individual site or districtwide.”

Calling the virus situation “dynamic,” the letter, which was signed by Superintendent Deena Bishop, said parents should make a plan for an extended spring break in case school is canceled. The district serves over 45,000 students at more than 130 schools and programs.

Related: University of Alaska extends spring break, moves classes online

If schools are closed, it would be in an effort enact social distancing in order to slow the spread of the virus, the letter said.

“The primary question I am receiving is about school cancellation. The call for an extended time off and school to be delivered alternatively will be made in accordance with health authorities and best practices in containing the virus,” Bishop wrote.

The letter also said that ASD is suspending all travel within the state for students and employees through April 2020. It asked that parents keep sick children home. If children are medically fragile or have a pre-existing health condition, they should not come to school, the district said. It also asked that any families who recently traveled to countries with serious outbreaks of the virus to stay home for 14 days after returning to the U.S.

Read collected coverage of the coronavirus across the state.

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