Wrangell’s school year will start a week and a half later than previously planned. That’s following Monday’s school board meeting setting the start date for September 8. 

They did that by moving five teacher training days to the beginning of the month to delay the start of the year. 

Although some board members expressed concern about schedule changes causing push back from the teachers’ union, as well as fewer school breaks on students, the Wrangell School Board was unanimous in making the change.

Board members said the five  days before the new start will be used for preparing for COVID-19 mitigation training for teachers and staff. 

It remains unclear how the school year will be structured. Wrangell’s school board has yet to vote on how many days a week students will be in class or whether classrooms will be at reduced capacity.

Superintendent Debbe Lancaster told the school board additional tweaks to the schedule could still be made.

“We would have the flexibility to do it at a later point, if we wanted to,” Lancaster said, “but that would be way down the road. Right now we’re trying to get open.”

Across the region school districts have taken different approaches. Juneau has adopted a hybrid approach with a mix of class time and distance learning, depending on the rate of transmission of COVID-19.

In Ketchikan, a similar approach was rejected by the school board which opted for a traditional five-day-a-week class schedule. Petersburg is still finalizing its plan.

View the new school calendar here.

Contact the author at news@kstk.org or (907) 874-2345.