PHOTOS: Anchorage families begin a new school year during a pandemic

In the spring, many students across Alaska went on spring break and never returned to their classrooms as school buildings closed to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Since then, schools districts spent the summer planning for an unpredictable future and determining what schooling might look like in the midst of a pandemic. Now, as families across the state begin this unprecedented school year, most of them beginning classes remotely, families in Anchorage shared how they’re approaching the school year.

Related: ‘We’ll figure it out together’: Thousands of Anchorage teachers and students log on for the first day of school

“The folding table is adjustable and has been my husband’s work desk since March (he found a replacement just in time). The bouncy seats let them wiggle and move, which helps because they don’t get nearly enough activity in their days (we try!). We can pack up the whole thing on weekends, and I’d encourage other parents to not feel they need a dedicated desk. Small spaces require efficient solutions!” – Anne Ooms

Related: Alaska families: Can we follow you as kids return to school?

“We always take our pictures by the tree in the front yard. We kept the tradition alive with our chrome books and masks to mark the occasion. Then we headed in so I could teach for my first day too. It wasn’t a typical start but was so nice to see the faces of my 8th grade students.” – Chantal Davis

“I made sure our 7th grader got up, and dressed. No zooming in pajamas or in bed!” – Laurie Nusbaum.

“My 1st grader was excited to ‘meet’ her teacher and classmates on the first day of school. My 4th grader was excited to see friends on zoom. And, my 6th grader was ready to tackle middle school.” – Jen Ragsdale

Related: Administrators, parents, and health officials weighed in on school reopening. But what do students think?

“Ava is a junior at Frontier Charter School, having just switched from Chugiak High School. She had previously homeschooled through the 4th grade, and we did not anticipate being back in that situation. She was happy at school, and this will have its own set of pros and cons. We are lucky to be in a position that we are not having to make hard choices about work and childcare like so many.” – Stephanie Cook

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