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New Letter to Parents from Superintendent Lougee

May 20, 2020

Dear Parents and Students,

On May 19, 2020, Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy announced plans for Phase Three of the State’s approach to reopening segments of the Alaskan economy in an effort to balance the ongoing need to slow the spread of COVID-19 with the critical need to resume economic activity in a reasonable and safe manner.  Phase III begins at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, May 22, 2020.  We all must remember that the pandemic is not over due to the announcement.  Please remember it is because of the work we have all completed together that we are able to move into Phase Three. However, if all people are not careful and following health and safety precautions we could see a rise in COVID 19 cases. 

Phase Three and School Closure

The Phase Three reopening plan does not include opening the schools for the 2019-2020 school year.  We will continue with the plan in place announced last week and the last day of students meetings and activities will continue to be May 22, 2020.  Teachers and staff will continue to train and prepare for the reopening phases for the 2020-2021 school year until June 4, 2020.

Class of 2020 Graduation and Prom

KGBSD Graduation for the Class of 2020 will be the virtual graduation that has been in motion for over a month.  Prom plans are still in development and will occur after the end of the school year.  Prom this year is being organized by a parent committee. We will help to communicate their plans as they become finalized.  We must take into account the health and safety of our community, students and staff.  Again, we must remember that it is the work of everyone following mandates, planning and taking necessary health and safety measures that have brought us to Phase Three. 

KGBSD Summer School K-12 Grades

In light of our end of the 2019-2020 school year, we are offering an expanded summer school opportunity for all students.  All students grades K-12 are invited to attend summer school June 15th through July 23rd. With social distancing mandates still in place, we will be offering summer school instruction remotely through ZOOM sessions for grades K-6 and asynchronous through Alaska Digital Academy for grades 7-12.  This is a great time to enroll your child for skill building, credit recovery or earning advanced credit.

Smart Start 2020-Reopening School in the Fall of 2020

The Smart Start 2020 planning was initiated at KGBSD on May 5, 2020. Since then the team has been working daily on the plan, which was recently reviewed with the District COVID-19 Coordination team.  On May 27, 2020, the plan will be presented to the KGBSD School Board and on May 28th we will provide updated information to KGBSD staff, with specifics to reopening and restarting school in the fall.

Reopening of all KGBSD schools for the 2020-2021 school year will be done in accordance with state and local mandates and will meet the criteria established by the CDC.  First and foremost, planning will take into account measures to promote and provide a safe and healthy environment for our students and employees.  Special consideration will be given to those in high risk categories.  Bringing learners back into the school buildings will be done gradually, providing ample time for orientation and training on new practices and procedures.  Special education services will resume the same time as general education. Special education students will attend general education classes with their peers as well as additional scheduled times for one-on-one or small group services in accordance with student needs, as coordinated by building principals and SPED program staff.

The School Board and staff of the Ketchikan Gateway Borough School District, like you, are anxious to return to normal activities as soon as is safely and practically possible, within the Governor’s, Ketchikan Gateway Borough, City of Ketchikan, and the CDC’s guidance. We miss our students, parents, and colleagues! It is our greatest desire to start the coming school year together while we continue to protect the great progress we have made against COVID in our community. We remain committed to the health, safety, well-being, and education of your children and families, and we hope that you will join us in making our plans a success.

If you have any questions please contact me at or 907-247-2136.



                                                                                                            Beth Lougee, Superintendent