Head Start in Dillingham prepares for out of class services amid coronavirus concerns

Mar 20, 2020

With Head Start programs across the state shutting down, over 3,000 kids are not receiving any in class services. The Bristol Bay Native Association’s Head Start program is taking precautions due to concerns over the spread of coronavirus. 

The playground at Bristol Bay Native Association. Friday, March 20, 2020.
Credit KDLG/Tyler Thompson

With Head Start programs across the state shutting down, over 3,000 kids are not receiving any in class services. The Bristol Bay Native Association’s Head Start department is taking precautions due to concerns over the spread of coronavirus. 

Anne Shade is the program’s director in Dillingham. She says they are working with families to get them the services they need - including meals and childcare.

“The schools are required to provide meal services," Shade said. "One of the requirements for Head Start is kids to be served in group settings. We are working through state and federal level so we can provide meals through the district or our own kitchen.”

Credit KDLG/Tyler Thompson

The department will start to provide families with education packets to work on with kids at home. Staff members who have travelled are being asked not to come in. Other teachers are working on sanitizing the classrooms. Shade says they are figuring out the best possible ways to work from home.

“This is not the ideal department for people to be working at home," Shade said. "The office of Head Start and the office of child care has reached out nationwide: keep your staff in place, keep people working with families and do the best you can to keep working with your communities.”

In accordance with Southwest Region School, Head Start will not have any in class services until March 30, barring changes.

Contact the author at tyler@kdlg.org or 907-842-2200