The Ketchikan School Board has a short agenda with only two non-routine actions on it for Wednesday’s meeting.
The board will decide whether to approve in second reading a proposed borough policy for pandemics and epidemics. It also will consider approving contracts for non-tenured district employees for the 2020-2021 school year.
Due to the closure of the White Cliff Building, and in accordance with state and federal social distancing recommendations, “most, if not all” of the board members will participate in the meeting through the videoconferencing software Zoom, according to Board Clerk Kerry Watson.
The proposed board policy gives the district the authority to quarantine any student or district employee “discovered or suspected (of having) a communicable disease that may result in an epidemic/pandemic ... pending further medical examination” and allows the superintendent to determine evacuation plans for the district in the event of a pandemic or epidemic.
In the two weeks since the board first considered the proposal, Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced that all public and private schools in the state will be closed to students through May 1, removing the need for urgent action on the proposed policy.
The policy also directs the superintendent or staff members designated by the superintendent to develop an alternative learning plan for students in the event of prolonged school closings. The superintendent and district staff have been working to develop a remote education plan since the first case of the disease was confirmed in Ketchikan on March 17.
The board also will consider approving the contracts of 29 non-tenured district employees for the 2020-2021 school year. The combined cost of the contracts is estimated at $2,684,126, according to the agenda.
“Details on how the public can best participate in this meeting are still being configured,” Watson wrote in an email over the weekend, but citizens who wish to submit written remarks may do so by emailing comments to the board clerk at firstname.lastname@example.org. Those comments will be read into the record at Wednesday’s meeting.