COVID-19 Information


Superintendent Memo: March 18

To:  All Staff

From:  Cassandra Bennett, Superintendent
Re:  Clarifications
Date:  March 18, 2020
Hello, All Staff Members!

Here is the latest update from the District.

Our district students are on lockdown from attending school due to COVID-19 Health Alert: Traveler Guidance.  Lockdown is to be continued until March 27th per our Governor. This has shifted our approach to employees returning to work. The plan for contacting students with a survey and developing a remote learning plan has not changed.  All staff will return to work on Monday March 23, 2019 or after completing 5 consecutive days of “Home Quarantine.”  Teachers are to call students and ask questions on the survey attached and share this with your principals who will share with Anthony Graham, Technology Director.

Certified and Classified Employees have directives if they left the from Anchorage to lower 48:

  1. Are on home quarantine for 5 consecutive days. If you went out of country according to state website you are quarantined 14 days.
  2. Return to work at school, on Monday, March 23, 2020 if there are no virus symptoms.   Practice social distancing in school and out and about in the village.  Schools will be open to teachers from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week. Teachers using the building after hours need to ensure they are familiar with utilizing the security system and locking the building
  3. Work from home. The District will not reimburse for any internet costs.
  4. Instructional classified staff will treat Monday March, 16 - 20 as school closure days. They will need to submit leave for the purpose of record keeping.  No one will go without a paycheck.  We will request a waiver from the board to pay those days without leave. Monday March 23, all instructional classified staff will be at work helping with materials for remote instruction, making work packets, or other duties as assigned. Building subs will not be returning to work. Long-term substitutes will carry on as the teacher as long as they are needed.

Materials Pick-up
Each principal or principal in charge has created a schedule for material pick-up and lunch.  These schedules have been posted throughout each community.  Lunch will begin on Wednesday, March 18, remote learning packets will begin on Monday, March 23. When teachers call students, please make sure they ask if they are able to come pick up materials. The pick-up will be staggered to ensure there is not a crowd of 25 or more.  Classified staff should assure all students keep their distance from one another.

Meal Service
Meal service will be available from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at all three district schools.  (Please identify with signage the entry you want the public to use, and designate a separate entrance for staff. Please let staff know that the meal area is off limits to staff, and that students will not be allowed to visit or be anywhere in the building. Meals are packaged as breakfast and lunch, and are available for any student 18 or younger at any site. Information will be sent to families in an update from Cassandra.  Paras need to assist with keeping attendance and meal service as students arrive.  Secretaries need to create a student spreadsheet to check off daily by the week students who come to school for pickup.

Remote Learning
Learning opportunities for students will launch on Monday, March 23, 2020. Learning packets are prepared by teacher and paras with materials to go home with student after lunch. Paras again will assist with the packet sign-out.   I would suggest these packets arranged by ABC order.  This first week the focus needs to be on gaining confidence with remote learning. Opportunities should be supplemental, and not part of a grade except Acellus online courses. If the closure is extended beyond March 30, 2020, and this is likely, then we will begin furthering the curriculum. Principals please develop a way to collect each teacher’s plan for remote learning, grading, and materials. Please help teachers coordinate at the secondary level so that students have no more than 2 hours of seatwork per day.  After the March 27th shutdown, we will be looking at ways to assure our high school students are completing credits.  Seniors will need our attention to assure graduate completion.  At this time, there will not be a commencement.  I would hope that we would be able to celebrate with seniors in August.  Packets should be returned daily as student arrives for lunch and a new packet picked up.  Arrange returned packets by teacher name for distribution and grading.

Thanks again for your leadership. Remember, this is all new. Have grace, be flexible, think outside the norm. Share ideas in the FY20 Principals Google Shared Drive. This is additional clarity to an ever-evolving plan.

COVID-19 Newsletter

Click the following link to access the COVID-19 Newsletter.

YSD Food Distribution

The Yupiit School District will provide lunch to all students from 10 am - 2 pm during the school closures. Distribution times will be scheduled by family and the schedules will be posted around the community and on your school's Facebook page.  

COVID-19 Informational Links


To:  All Parents, Staff and Community Members

From:  Superintendent Bennett
Date:  March 12, 2020
          I realize that this is a challenging time for the health and safety of our villages as we navigate through the impact of COVID-19.  The Yupiit District has heard your concerns that teachers who have taken spring break in the lower 48 may have been in contact with the virus.  Like yourselves, I am also concerned the impact this would have on villages as small as ours and the harm the virus could have on our children and elderly.  We have been told that once exposed to the virus it would take four days for symptoms to appear.  I am extending spring break to Sunday, March 22 with the expectation teachers are back in the village by March 15 or remaining in Anchorage.  Preferably, teachers who have visited states in the lower 48 will have these additional days to develop symptoms prior to returning to the schools in our district.  All classes will resume, March 23, 2020.  Teachers and students showing flu like symptoms should immediately seek medical attention.

         In order to prevent or slow the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), the State of Alaska is recommending all Alaskans cease in and out of state travel.  As superintendent, I am banning all school related teacher and student travel out of village for the remainder of this school year.  We do not know the possibility the summer months hold for us as a district prior to beginning the school year 2020-21.  I have spoken with my leadership team and Akiachak leader, Chief Edward, regarding a planning group to specifically develop a plan in the event the virus hits our schools and villages. 

          In meeting with the Governor and Superintendents across the state, we have been encouraged to develop plans based on 3 levels of progression.  Currently, we are in the “preparedness phase” and are advising Alaskans to implement protective measures outlined in the “preparedness phase” and to strongly consider implementing the “minimal to moderate” activities. Examples of social distancing strategies that should be followed now include:
For the General Public

  • Stay home if you are sick with a respiratory illness. If you develop a fever, stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever subsides.
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from anyone who is coughing, sneezing, or feeling feverish.
  • Avoid large gatherings and crowded places as much as possible.
  • Minimize group gatherings to no more than 25 people.
  • Avoid shaking hands and hugging as much as possible.
  • If you live in a rural area, consider limiting non-essential travel to protect your community.
  • Wash hands frequently.
  • Avoid rubbing face and eyes.
For High-Risk Group
  • This group includes persons aged 60 years and over, and persons with underlying medical conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, or other immune compromising illnesses.  for example — seem to be at higher risk of developing serious COVID-19 illness.
  • Stock up on supplies.
  • When you go out in public, try to maintain at least 6 feet distance from people – especially from people who are sick.
  • Avoid crowds as much as possible, especially large gatherings.
  • Avoid cruise travel and non-essential air travel.
  • Do not handle pets or other animals while sick.
  • Avoid sharing personal household items, dishes, cups, bedding, etc.
For Businesses and Employers
  • Use videoconferencing for meetings when possible.
  • When not possible, hold meetings in open, well-ventilated spaces.
  • Consider adjusting or postponing large meetings or gatherings
  • Assess the risks of business travel.
  • Encourage liberal leave policies and teleworking options for staff.
  • If showing symptoms, restrict activities outside of home, except for medical care.
  • Do not go to work, school, or public areas.
For Schools
  • Consider adjusting or postponing gatherings that mix between classes, grades, and other schools.
  • Adjust after-school arrangements to avoid mixing between classes, grades, and other schools.
  • Increase custodial cleaning and maintenance of classrooms and frequently used areas such as door handles, desk tops, computer keyboards, etc.
For Religions and Faith-based Organizations  
Cassandra Bennett,