July 23, 2020 | ADN | James Brooks |

Most of Alaska’s K-12 students will go to school fewer than five days per week under plans intended to limit the spread of the coronavirus, officials told state legislators on Thursday. In order to keep students apart amid social distancing guidelines, some schools will have students attend on alternate days, with online instruction the rest of the week.

Decisions on reopening are being made at a local level, said Michael Johnson, commissioner of the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development, who compared the situation to the way local superintendents approve snow days.

Several of those superintendents told a hearing of the Alaska House’s education committee that they intend to operate this fall under a “blended” approach to education: Students will attend school in person for part of the week and take online classes during the rest of the week. Those officials cautioned that plans may change depending on how the coronavirus spreads.

Already, the Anchorage School District has said it will likely start the school year Aug. 20 with students attending classes online only. Other districts outlined details of their plans.

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