Juneau schools return to in-person classes this week

Students returned to in-person classes this week at Juneau Douglas High School. (Photo courtesy of Kristin Bartlett)

Students at Juneau-Douglas High School had their first in-person classes in 10 months on Tuesday. Superintendent Bridget Weiss says things are going smoothly so far.

“The student response has been amazing, they are really happy to be at school. It doesn’t look like school used to look,” said Weiss. “Every kid I talked to I asked them, you know, are you still happy to be here, even though it doesn’t really look like normal and they were all just very happy to be at school.”

The return to in-person classes is still optional for families, so schools have been at much lower capacity than normal. Weiss says at elementary schools, there are between four to eight students in each classroom. And families who chose to have their kids return to school have also been cooperative.

Weiss says that the district is also prepared for any COVID-19 cases that could potentially be reported on campus.

“If we were to end up with a situation in a school that was concerning to us, we might stop in-person learning at a school for a little bit,” she said. “If the health status and you know changes and take some significant increase spike, then we would reconsider overall operations.”

Weiss also says with the vaccine now on its way, the district is looking forward to adding that to its mitigation strategy, along with voluntary testing for staff.

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