UPDATE: COVID-19 concerns prompt DCSD to extend spring break, postpone all activity

Mar 13, 2020

The school district is taking steps to prepare for the coronavirus a day after the state's first confirmed case was announced in Anchorage.

Students were originally scheduled to return March 16. That date is now extended to March 30.
Credit KDLG/Tyler Thompson

UPDATEThe Dillingham City School District is furthering its extension of spring break to April 13, along with all activities at the school in a new announcement from Superintendent Jason Johnson.

The school district will be providing a meal service and delivery for all students. School staff are also working on developing “off-site curriculum” for students. There will be another update from the district on March 25.

ORIGINAL: The Dillingham City School District is extending spring break and postponing all activities at the school until March 30 due to concerns over the coronavirus. Alaska’s first confirmed case was announced Thursday by Gov. Mike Dunleavy.

Superintendent Jason Johnson announced that the district will use this time to prepare, plan and train staff. They will work on support measures and monitor people’s travel over spring break, which was originally set to end March 16. The Dillingham boys' and girls' basketball teams are currently in Anchorage for a regional tournament.

“I sincerely apologize for any disruptions that this may cause for families, however, everyone’s safety is the driving factor behind all district decisions during this time,” said Johnson in a letter announcing the changes.

Billie Benedict, the district's special education secretary, said she understands the school’s decision.

“You know, I’m elderly so I know that the elderly are the most vulnerable to the coronavirus," she said. "I suppose for my own safety I will do what needs to be done and cooperate.”

Maintenance, business and administrative staff return March 17. All certified, classified and district office staff will return March 23.

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