PALMER — Soon to be Mat-Su Borough School District Superintendent Dr. Randy Trani announced on Tuesday that MSBSD schools will start the school year on Aug. 19 with in person instruction under a green scenario of low community spread of COVID-19. Trani recorded a video released on the MSBSD Facebook page to discuss registration and options for families.
“Our intention is to start on green,” said Trani. “Which means in person attendance at our brick and mortar schools, but we are trying to provide an option for families. If they are not ready for that at this time we want to make sure we’re meeting each family where they’re at and give them the best educational experience that they can have.”
Trani has been in Alaska for the last few weeks and simultaneously working with his former school district in Oregon while preparing to take on the superintendent position at MSBSD full time. Trani toured the extended school year courses being offered for course recovery that began on Monday and observed the social distancing and mitigation strategies being employed currently that will be featured across all MSBSD schools this fall.
“We’re practicing the things right now that we’re going to start with in the school year when we open under green and those are social distancing, increased social distancing, traffic patterns in the hallways for students, cohorting so we can keep track of where students are both in the classroom and on the buses, so seating assignments and the cohorting helps us if we ever need to do any contact tracing it will make that process much much easier,” said Trani.
Registration for fall classes also opened this week and parents with students in MSBSD schools have the option to opt-in to an at home remote learning model. Masks will not be required to be worn by students and staff, but Trani said that students are able to wear masks if they so choose. In announcing that MSBSD would open with in-person instruction delivery at schools in the fall, Trani also discussed the possibility of increased community spread of COVID-19 that would potentially move MSBSD schools to a blended learning model of at home and online coursework.
“We’re trying to prepare for all eventualities. That blended learning model with the week on week off, we were trying to get our infrastructure up and ready in case we have to use that. I want to emphasize again that we are planning on operating under green, so in person instruction next year but if something were to change like it did in the spring like if the governor or the health services were to change basically what level our communities are at and make us go into more of a yellow situation, we wanted to have our plans and infrastructure ready to go,” said Trani.
Parents with questions about registration for fall classes were asked to contact MSBSD Public Information Officer at email@example.com or call the Office of Instruction at 746-9212.