Legislature(2019 - 2020)Anch LIO Lg Conf Rm

07/23/2020 10:00 AM EDUCATION

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Audio Topic
10:08:58 AM Start
10:10:57 AM Reopening Schools Safely: an Update from Statewide Leaders in Education and Health and the Administration
01:09:27 PM Adjourn
* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
-- Teleconference <Listen Only> --
+ Reopening Schools Safely: An Update from TELECONFERENCED
Statewide Leaders in Education and Health as
well as from the Administration
**Streamed live on AKL.tv**
                    ALASKA STATE LEGISLATURE                                                                                  
               HOUSE EDUCATION STANDING COMMITTEE                                                                             
                       Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                        
                         July 23, 2020                                                                                          
                           10:08 a.m.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
                             DRAFT                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS PRESENT                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
Representative Harriet Drummond, Co-Chair                                                                                       
Representative Andi Story, Co-Chair (via teleconference)                                                                        
Representative Grier Hopkins (via teleconference)                                                                               
Representative Chris Tuck (via teleconference)                                                                                  
Representative Tiffany Zulkosky (via teleconference)                                                                            
Representative DeLena Johnson (via teleconference)                                                                              
Representative Mike Prax (via teleconference)                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MEMBERS ABSENT                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
All members present                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
COMMITTEE CALENDAR                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
REOPENING SCHOOLS SAFELY: AN UPDATE FROM STATEWIDE LEADERS IN                                                                   
EDUCATION AND HEALTH AND THE ADMINISTRATION                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
OTHER LEGISLATORS PRESENT                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
Representative Bryce Edgmon (via teleconference)                                                                                
Representative Dan Ortiz (via teleconference)                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
PREVIOUS COMMITTEE ACTION                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
No previous action to record                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
WITNESS REGISTER                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
MICHAEL JOHNSON, Ph.D., Commissioner                                                                                            
Department of Education and Early Development                                                                                   
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Co-provided a PowerPoint presentation,                                                                   
entitled "Safely Reopening Alaska Schools for the 2020-2021                                                                     
School Year," dated 7/23/20.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ANNE ZINK, M.D., FACEP, Chief Medical Officer                                                                                   
Central Office                                                                                                                  
Division of Public Health                                                                                                       
Department of Health and Social Services                                                                                        
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:    Co-provided  a  PowerPoint  presentation,                                                             
entitled  "Safely  Reopening  Alaska Schools  for  the  2020-2021                                                               
School Year," dated 7/23/20.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
LACEY SANDERS, Director                                                                                                         
Administrative Services Section                                                                                                 
Department of Education and Early Development                                                                                   
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:    Gave   a  PowerPoint  presentation  which                                                             
provided a Federal Education Funding Update.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
JO DAWSON, School Food Coordinator                                                                                              
Child Nutrition Services Section                                                                                                
Department of Education and Early Development                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Answered a  question during the presentation                                                             
on  "Safely Reopening  Alaska Schools  for  the 2020-2021  School                                                               
Year."                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
TOM KLAAMEYER, President                                                                                                        
National Education Association, Alaska Affiliate                                                                                
Eagle River, Alaska                                                                                                             
POSITION  STATEMENT:   Gave a  presentation regarding  "Reopening                                                             
Schools Safely."                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
LISA S. PARADY, Ph.D., Executive Director                                                                                       
Alaska Council of School Administrators                                                                                         
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION   STATEMENT:     Co-presented  a   PowerPoint,  entitled                                                             
"Providing a  Safe Smart  Start for  Alaska Public  Schools 2020-                                                               
2021 District Plans."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
KERRY BOYD, Superintendent                                                                                                      
Yukon-Koyukuk School District                                                                                                   
Fairbanks, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION  STATEMENT:     Co-presented  the  PowerPoint,  entitled                                                             
"Providing a  Safe Smart  Start for  Alaska Public  Schools 2020-                                                               
2021 District Plans."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
JOHN CONWELL, Superintendent                                                                                                    
Unalaska City School District                                                                                                   
Unalaska, Alaska                                                                                                                
POSITION  STATEMENT:     Co-presented  the  PowerPoint,  entitled                                                             
"Providing a  Safe Smart  Start for  Alaska Public  Schools 2020-                                                               
2021 District Plans."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BRIDGET WEISS, Ph.D., Superintendent                                                                                            
Juneau School District                                                                                                          
Juneau, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION STATEMENT:  Co-presented the PowerPoint, entitled                                                                    
"Providing a Safe Smart Start for Alaska Public Schools 2020-                                                                   
2021 District Plans."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
TERRI WALKER, Superintendent                                                                                                    
Northwest Arctic Borough School District                                                                                        
POSITION STATEMENT:  Co-presented the PowerPoint, entitled                                                                    
"Providing a Safe Smart Start for Alaska Public Schools 2020-                                                                   
2021 District Plans."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
DEENA M. BISHOP, Ed.D., Superintendent                                                                                          
Anchorage School District                                                                                                       
Anchorage, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Co-presented the PowerPoint, entitled                                                                    
"Providing a Safe Smart Start for Alaska Public Schools 2020-                                                                   
2021 District Plans."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
BETH LOUGEE, Superintendent                                                                                                     
Ketchikan Gateway Borough School District                                                                                       
Ketchikan, Alaska                                                                                                               
POSITION STATEMENT:  Co-presented the PowerPoint, entitled                                                                    
"Providing a Safe Smart Start for Alaska Public Schools 2020-                                                                   
2021 District Plans."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
JOHN O'BRIEN, Ph.D., Superintendent                                                                                             
Kenai Peninsula Borough School District                                                                                         
Kenai, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Co-presented the PowerPoint, entitled                                                                    
"Providing a Safe Smart Start for Alaska Public Schools 2020-                                                                   
2021 District Plans."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
CLAYTON HOLLAND, Assistant Superintendent                                                                                       
Kenai Peninsula Borough School District                                                                                         
Kenai, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION STATEMENT:  Co-presented the PowerPoint, entitled                                                                    
"Providing a Safe Smart Start for Alaska Public Schools 2020 -                                                                  
2021 District Plans."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
DAVE JONES, Assistant Superintendent for Instructional Support                                                                  
Kenai Peninsula Borough School District                                                                                         
Kenai, Alaska                                                                                                                   
POSITION  STATEMENT:     Co-presented  the  PowerPoint,  entitled                                                             
"Providing a  Safe Smart  Start for  Alaska Public  Schools 2020-                                                               
2021 District Plans."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
SHAWN ARNOLD, Superintendent                                                                                                    
Valdez City Schools;                                                                                                            
President, Alaska Superintendents Association                                                                                   
Valdez, Alaska                                                                                                                  
POSITION  STATEMENT:     Co-presented  the  PowerPoint,  entitled                                                             
"Providing a  Safe Smart  Start for  Alaska Public  Schools 2020-                                                               
2021 District Plans."                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
ACTION NARRATIVE                                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
10:08:58 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  HARRIET DRUMMOND  called the  House Education  Standing                                                             
Committee meeting to  order at 10:08 a.m.   Representatives Story                                                               
(via teleconference), Johnson  (via teleconference), Hopkins (via                                                               
teleconference),   Zulkosky  (via   teleconference),  Tuck   (via                                                               
teleconference),  Prax (via  teleconference),  and Drummond  were                                                               
present at the call to order.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
^Reopening Schools  Safely: An Update  from Statewide  Leaders in                                                               
Education and Health and the Administration                                                                                     
 Reopening Schools Safely: An Update from Statewide Leaders in                                                              
          Education and Health and the Administration                                                                       
                                                                                                                              
10:10:57 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  DRUMMOND  announced that  the  only  order of  business                                                               
would be  an update on  reopening schools safely,  from statewide                                                               
leaders in education and health, as well as the administration.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:13:14 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MICHAEL  JOHNSON, Ph.D.,  Commissioner,  Department of  Education                                                               
and Early Development (DEED), estimated  it had been three months                                                               
since he last  updated the House Education  Standing Committee on                                                               
the  statewide  efforts  to  ensure  continued  student  learning                                                               
during the COVID-19  pandemic.  He said a lot  has happened since                                                               
then, and  more is known  about the virus.   He said he  would be                                                               
presenting  alongside  Anne  Zink,  M.D., of  the  Department  of                                                               
Health and  Social Services, to  whom he expressed  gratitude for                                                               
her  work alongside  Governor  Mike Dunleavy  "to  inform us,  to                                                               
guide us, to keep us steady"  and for the sacrifices she has made                                                               
for Alaskans.   He emphasized the collaboration of  DEED and DHSS                                                               
in  preparing for  the  upcoming school  year.   He  acknowledged                                                               
members of  "the education  team."   Referring to  the PowerPoint                                                               
presentation, entitled  "Safely Reopening Alaska Schools  for the                                                               
2020-2021  School  Year," he  listed  the  three categories  that                                                               
would be covered, as shown on  slide 2:  Science & Data Regarding                                                               
COVID-19  and Children;  School Reopening  Guidance and  Support;                                                               
and  Federal  Education  Funding  Update.   He  then  turned  the                                                               
presentation over to Dr. Zink.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
10:17:28 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
ANNE ZINK,  M.D., FACEP, Chief  Medical Officer,  Central Office,                                                               
Division  of  Public  Health, Department  of  Health  and  Social                                                               
Services   (DHSS),  prefaced   the  PowerPoint   presentation  by                                                               
expressing  appreciation  for  all  involved in  the  process  of                                                               
learning the  science and data of  COVID-19.  She said  she would                                                               
talk about  three basic categories:   Children and their  risk of                                                               
COVID-19;  teachers  and  their  risk of  transmission;  and  the                                                               
science and education  behind teaching as a whole.   She remarked                                                               
on the changing  nature of information, as  new discoveries about                                                               
the virus are made, emphasizing  that information can change in a                                                               
matter of  just a  couple weeks.   She  recognized the  hard work                                                               
being done by superintendents.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
DR.  ZINK turned  to the  PowerPoint presentation  she would  co-                                                               
present, entitled "Safely Reopening Alaska Schools for the 2020-                                                                
2021  School Year."   She  directed attention  to slide  4, which                                                               
read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     COVID-19 risks to children                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
      ? Most children have mild symptoms or no symptoms if                                                                      
     they get COVID-19                                                                                                          
     ? Deaths in children are rare but have happened                                                                            
      ? Children with underlying medical conditions are at                                                                      
     greater risk of severe illness if they get COVID-19                                                                        
     ? Diabetes                                                                                                                 
       ? Obesity (between ? and ½ of Alaska children are                                                                        
     overweight or obese)                                                                                                       
     ? Chronic lung disease                                                                                                     
     ? High blood pressure                                                                                                      
       ? Tobacco use (10.9% of Alaska teens had smoked a                                                                        
      cigarette in the last month in a 2017 survey, 15.7%                                                                       
     had used a vape pen)                                                                                                       
       ? Multisystem inflammatory syndrome is reported in                                                                       
     children and can have devastating effects                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
DR.  ZINK  then  focused  on  slide  5,  which  read  as  follows                                                               
[original punctuation provided]:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     COVID-19: What we know about long term effects                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     ?  At  6 months  in,  nobody  has been  recovered  long                                                                    
     enough for true long term effects                                                                                          
     ?  Many  survivors  of  SARS  and  MERS,  coronaviruses                                                                    
     causing disease  similar to  severe COVID-19,  had lung                                                                    
     problems,  bone  problems,  fatigue and  PTSD  symptoms                                                                    
     that lasted for years or decades                                                                                           
     ?  COVID-19 survivors  report  lasting fatigue,  muscle                                                                    
     aches,  shortness  of  breath,   even  in  some  young,                                                                    
     previously healthy people with mild COVID-19                                                                               
     ? People who  had to be in ICUs  report fatigue, aches,                                                                    
     shortness of breath as well as PTSD symptoms                                                                               
     ?  One   study  found  that  only   12.6%  of  patients                                                                    
     hospitalized  with  COVID-19   were  symptom  free  two                                                                    
     months later;  44% reported worse quality  of life; 53%                                                                    
     had  fatigue; 43%  had  difficulty  breathing; 27%  had                                                                    
     joint pain; 22% had chest pain                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
DR.  ZINK related  that  the study  was done  in  Italy from  143                                                               
patients  with an  average  age  of 56.5  years;  5 percent  were                                                               
intubated; all were hospitalized.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
10:21:37 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
DR.  ZINK  addressed  the  role  children  play  in  transmitting                                                               
diseases.    She said  school  can  be  "an effective  place  for                                                               
transmission"  of highly  contagious diseases.   She  covered the                                                               
information  on   slide  6,  which  read   as  follows  [original                                                               
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     COVID-19 transmission in children                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     ? Evidence is limited                                                                                                      
     ? Children under  age 10 may be less likely  to get the                                                                    
     virus  and less  likely to  give it  to others  (10-50%                                                                    
     less, depending on the study)                                                                                              
     ? Children  under age 10  may also be the  least likely                                                                    
     to leave the house  during periods of restriction, when                                                                    
     many of these studies were  conducted, so may have been                                                                    
     exposed less                                                                                                               
     ? Children  over age 10  appear to  be able to  get the                                                                    
     virus  and give  it to  others  at least  as easily  as                                                                    
     adults can                                                                                                                 
     ?  In one  South  Korean study  of  60,000 contacts  of                                                                    
     5,700  cases, children  age 10-18  were more  likely to                                                                    
     give  it  to  other  members of  their  household  than                                                                    
     adults were                                                                                                                
     ?  We  cannot rely  on  all  children having  decreased                                                                    
     transmission dynamics                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
DR. ZINK continued to the information on slide 7, which read as                                                                 
follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     School reopening: projected community effects                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     ? Anytime  we have  increased numbers of  people coming                                                                    
     into  contact  with  each  other  we  expect  increased                                                                    
     opportunities for viral transmission                                                                                       
     ?  Physical distancing,  face coverings,  hand hygiene,                                                                    
     and encouraging people  to stay home when  sick are the                                                                    
     mainstays of prevention                                                                                                    
     ?  Whether  a  community  sees  increased  cases  after                                                                    
     school reopening depends a great deal on:                                                                                  
          ? Community transmission rates                                                                                        
          ? Other  community factors (Use face  coverings in                                                                    
     public,  community  gatherings, density  of  population                                                                    
     etc.)                                                                                                                      
          ? Children  and others staying home  when they are                                                                    
     sick                                                                                                                       
          ?  Maximizing   prevention  measures  (distancing,                                                                    
     face coverings, hygiene, cohorts) in schools                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
DR. ZINK, regarding the first bullet point, noted that the                                                                      
Center for Disease Control (CDC) has defined close contact as                                                                   
greater than 15 minutes within six feet of another person.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
DR. ZINK moved on to slide 8, which read as follows [original                                                                   
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Risks of NOT reopening                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     ? The  American Academy  of Pediatrics issued  a strong                                                                    
     recommendation  in favor  of holding  school in  person                                                                    
     whenever possible starting Fall 2020                                                                                       
     ? Social interaction is key to child development                                                                           
     ? Many children experience  barriers that make distance                                                                    
     learning less than ideal                                                                                                   
          ? Insufficient access to internet or computer                                                                         
          ? Learning disabilities                                                                                               
          ? Language barriers                                                                                                   
          ? Young children in particular  may not learn well                                                                    
     independently                                                                                                              
     ? Schools  also provide  services difficult  to deliver                                                                    
     remotely                                                                                                                   
          ? School meal programs                                                                                                
          ? Physical activity                                                                                                   
          ? After school child care                                                                                             
          ? Child abuse detection                                                                                               
     ?  Significant economic  effect  if  parents must  stay                                                                    
     home or find childcare                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
DR. ZINK said  all these factors must be taken  into account when                                                               
making decisions going forward.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
10:25:23 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
DR. ZINK  moved on to  slide 9,  which read as  follows [original                                                               
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Student    Mental   Health    Supports   Routine    and                                                                    
     Predictability                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
     ? Last  year, DEED in partnership  with the Association                                                                    
     of   Alaska   School  Boards,   released   Transforming                                                                    
     Schools:  A Framework  for  Trauma-Engaged Practice  in                                                                    
     Alaska                                                                                                                     
     ?  In  August,  DEED   will  be  releasing  the  online                                                                    
     Transforming  Schools  Trauma  Toolkit  for  educators,                                                                    
     which is  specifically designed  to address  stress and                                                                    
     anxiety for children and adults                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
DR. ZINK  said children's  mental health is  a continued  area of                                                               
focus for both DHSS and DEED.   She said during a time of stress,                                                               
providing routine  and predictable  education is essential.   She                                                               
talked  about the  stress students  may feel  about returning  to                                                               
school, and she emphasized that  "mental health services ... must                                                               
be a part of every school's planning for in-person instruction."                                                                
                                                                                                                                
DR.  ZINK covered  the information  on  slide 10,  which read  as                                                               
follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     Alaska's school risk mitigation approach                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     ?Watch community case levels                                                                                               
     ?Watch for early warning signs of cases in schools                                                                         
     ?Be ready to switch to distance learning                                                                                   
     ?Maximize physical distancing,  wearing face coverings,                                                                    
     hygiene                                                                                                                    
     ?Minimize mixing                                                                                                           
     ?Age-appropriate cohorting [sic]  as an additional risk                                                                    
     mitigation strategy                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
DR. ZINK  moved on  to slide 11,  which addresses  community case                                                               
level indexes through the use of two  maps of the state.  The map                                                               
on  the  left shows  a  seven-day  case rate  map  [cases/100,000                                                               
people], and the  map on the right depicts  Alaska COVID-19 alert                                                               
levels, which  Dr. Zink called  a "14-day  case alert map."   She                                                               
said the  14-day map will show  a more stable look,  while the 7-                                                               
day  map has  a gradated  scale.   She proffered,  "You can  also                                                               
hover  over  those regions  and  get  the  actual number."    She                                                               
stated,  "These are  going  to be  applied  to behavioral  health                                                               
regions,  because that's  where  people move,  and  they have  at                                                               
least 20,000 people in their  community."  She imparted that this                                                               
is  a tool  that  communities  and schools  can  use to  estimate                                                               
transmission levels.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
10:28:20 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
DR. ZINK continued  to slide 12, which read  as follows [original                                                               
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Early warning signs                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     ? Schools to perform symptom screening                                                                                     
     ? If  several children  in a  school or  community have                                                                    
     new symptoms, will draw increased attention                                                                                
          ?  If they  are contacts  of each  other, consider                                                                    
     small outbreak                                                                                                             
          ?  If  they  are   not  contacts,  consider  large                                                                    
     undetected   outbreak   or    increase   in   community                                                                    
     transmission                                                                                                               
     ? Can  isolate specific cohorts or  classrooms to avoid                                                                    
     closing schools                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
10:32:29 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
DR. ZINK,  in response to  Representative Zulkosky,  repeated the                                                               
statistic regarding youth.                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
10:33:50 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HOPKINS  referred to  the  14-day  model map  and                                                               
asked for  an explanation  of what each  color indicated  and how                                                               
the  colors correlate  with  the red,  green,  and yellow  "Smart                                                               
Start" levels.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
10:34:26 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
DR. ZINK answered that the maps  are tools that may not correlate                                                               
"one-to-one" with  the Smart  Start colors,  because some  of the                                                               
areas on the map are quite  large.  For example, some communities                                                               
are 300 miles apart, with  a wide variance in transmission rates,                                                               
yet they  exist within  the same behavioral  health region.   She                                                               
said communities may  have a better sense of a  rising risk prior                                                               
to it  being reflected in  "the dashboard."   In Anchorage  it is                                                               
easier to  use this tool  because it  is one school  district and                                                               
one community zone.   Remote locations will have  to work closely                                                               
with  their  medical  providers  "to  use  these  tools  to  make                                                               
meaningful  decisions  at a  local  level."   She  explained  the                                                               
reason for  the two different  maps is  that the 7-day  map shows                                                               
big  spikes and  drops in  outbreaks; there  will be  a lot  more                                                               
fluctuation  and variability  in  the data.    She indicated  the                                                               
alert  levels are  more stable  when averaged  over the  14 days,                                                               
which can  provide more  support to  communities by  showing what                                                               
the  transition looks  like.   She  deferred  to Joe  McLaughlin,                                                               
M.D., the  chief of  epidemiology, for  further questions  on the                                                               
topic.   In  response to  a follow-up  question, she  said [DHSS]                                                               
encourages  communities to  work with  their local  medical teams                                                               
and create a  task force to understand the  data and information.                                                               
She  said DHSS  has health  nurses assigned  to every  community,                                                               
even if  they may  not live  on site,  to ensure  communities are                                                               
understanding information and risk levels.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
10:38:50 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON,  regarding  incoming  data  and  trends,                                                               
asked how  quickly a spread  could happen and how  responsive the                                                               
schools could be.                                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
DR  ZINK answered  that there  can  be significant  delays.   She                                                               
outlined the chain  of events:  A person does  not feel well; the                                                               
person gets  tested; it can take  a while for the  test result to                                                               
come back; the case is recorded  on "the dashboard"; and the case                                                               
becomes part of a 14-day average.  She continued:                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     You could  have a  large community outbreak  that would                                                                    
     take  a   while  to   show  up   in  the   overt  level                                                                    
     specifically,  and   that  is  why   we're  encouraging                                                                    
     communities   to   work   with   their   local   health                                                                    
     authorities  and  their  local health  departments  and                                                                    
     their  public   health  nurses   [to]  have   a  better                                                                    
     understanding  of what's  happening in  that community,                                                                    
     to make sure  that we're not overly  sensitive to those                                                                    
     changes, but also  not delayed in the response  - to be                                                                    
     able ...  to respond to  what's happening from  a local                                                                    
     situation.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
DR.  ZINK said  the people  "on the  ground" will  have the  best                                                               
sense  of  the trends.    She  said  DHSS appreciates  that  many                                                               
communities and  emergency operations centers (EOCs)  are setting                                                               
up their own  dashboards.  She indicated that  [the colored maps]                                                               
will be better with respect to  moving down from red to orange or                                                               
orange to yellow, as cases  decline, but will definitely lag with                                                               
respect to the moving up phases.                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
10:41:15 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON  said  many  decisions are  made  at  the                                                               
district  level,  and  she  understood  that  the  department  is                                                               
working on  guidelines.  She  asked Commissioner  Johnson whether                                                               
the department has recommendations,  based on levels of community                                                               
spread, about when  districts would have their  students moved to                                                               
virtual classroom learning.                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
10:42:08 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  JOHNSON  responded  that  he thought  some  of  his                                                               
upcoming presentation would provide  an answer.  Nevertheless, he                                                               
said  districts  are  working  hard to  ensure  the  delivery  of                                                               
education during this pandemic, and  it is not something that can                                                               
be done based on only one  metric.  He gave examples of decisions                                                               
he has  had to make  based on  singular data versus  more complex                                                               
input.  He  echoed Dr. Zink's remark  that individual communities                                                               
receiving  information from  their local  health authorities  are                                                               
going  to  gather  information pertaining  to  their  communities                                                               
before it reaches the trend maps.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
10:44:14 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR STORY asked Dr. Zink about child obesity in Alaska.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
10:45:17 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
DR.  ZINK assured  Representative  Story that  DHSS continues  to                                                               
work on all  health issues, including obesity, even  in the midst                                                               
of the pandemic, and she offered to supply further information.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR STORY opined  that it is important for DHSS  to get that                                                               
information out to the general  public, and she said [obesity] is                                                               
something that Alaskans can work [to prevent or reverse].                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
10:46:01 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  JOHNSON resumed  the PowerPoint  presentation.   He                                                               
covered  the  information on  slide  18,  which read  as  follows                                                               
[original punctuation provided]:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
    Supporting    teachers,    students,   families,    and                                                                     
     communities                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
      Guiding principle: Teaching, learning, and activity                                                                       
     are the constants. COVID -19 is the variable.                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  JOHNSON  emphasized  the  importance  of  educating                                                               
children, the frustration and  disruptiveness of the coronavirus,                                                               
and  the importance  of  working together  to  ensure the  former                                                               
while overcoming  the latter.   He talked  about the  benefits of                                                               
aklearns.org,  listed   on  slide  19,  which   read  as  follows                                                               
[original punctuation provided]:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     School Reopening Guidance and Support                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Online Resources                                                                                                           
     ? aklearns.org                                                                                                             
     ? education.alaska.gov                                                                                                     
     ? Restart Guidance (last revised July 15, 2020)                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     Professional Development and Informational Webinars                                                                        
     ? ZOOM sessions                                                                                                            
       ?   Spring   Smart   Start   2020   Series   (475+                                                                       
     participants)                                                                                                              
          ? Summer Smart Start 2020 Summit in August                                                                            
     ? ECHO sessions                                                                                                            
          ? School Health (Tue, 3pm)                                                                                            
          ? Classroom Teachers (Wed, 1pm)                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  JOHNSON directed  attention to  the information  on                                                               
slide 20, which read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     School Restart Guidance                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     ? Last revised July 15, 2020                                                                                               
          ? Local school districts need the authority,                                                                          
      responsibility, and flexibility to make decisions to                                                                      
     be responsive to their communities.                                                                                        
          ? DEED and DHSS' joint mission is to provide                                                                          
       information, resources, and leadership to support                                                                        
     districts in these tough decisions                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
          ? District Plans Tracker:                                                                                             
     ?https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1PMpqGUXxV9cG7                                                                     
     aQhZq91j2L35vU9AzjJtHLDi_k1Jno/view#gid=0                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
          ? Guidance:                                                                                                           
     ?https://education.alaska.gov/news/COVID-                                                                                  
     19/Alaska%20Smart%20Start%202020%20Framework%20Guidanc                                                                     
     e.pdf                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  JOHNSON   said  in  partnership  with   DHSS,  DEED                                                               
released a  framework guidance  to kindergarten  through twelfth-                                                               
grade (k-12)  schools for  the upcoming 2021  school year.   This                                                               
guidance establishes health parameters  for the safe operation of                                                               
schools  in  low-,  medium-, and  high-risk  environments.    The                                                               
guidance  will  continually be  updated  as  more information  is                                                               
released from  the CDC  and other organizations.   He  noted that                                                               
the  guidance   was  built  on  the   recommendations  of  health                                                               
officials  and  in   collaborative  conversation  with  education                                                               
stakeholders; it  is aligned with opening  guidelines provided by                                                               
state and federal  leaders, and it is designed  to help districts                                                               
prioritize the  health and safety  of students and teachers.   He                                                               
expressed  thanks   to  Dr.  Parady  for   facilitating  numerous                                                               
meetings  identifying many  of the  elements in  the Smart  Start                                                               
plan.    He  said  DEED  is requesting  each  district  use  this                                                               
framework  to  develop  a comprehensive  plan  for  teaching  and                                                               
learning and to submit the plan  to the department, via an online                                                               
Google form.   He indicated this information will  be provided to                                                               
the  public.   He emphasized  that the  plans visible  online are                                                               
currently in the process of being formulated.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
10:51:14 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER   JOHNSON,   in   response  to   a   question   from                                                               
Representative  Hopkins, reiterated  that  DEED  is asking  every                                                               
district to work with its  local health officials.  Additionally,                                                               
he said, Elizabeth  Ohlsen, M.D., [Staff Physician  for DHSS], is                                                               
helping  those districts  that have  more difficulty  identifying                                                               
local  health  officials.   He  told  Representative  Hopkins  he                                                               
thought  he would  hear some  excellent examples  of how  this is                                                               
working when superintendents present later during the meeting.                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  HOPKINS explained  he was  concerned about  those                                                               
districts that do not have  the local health officials with which                                                               
to collaborate.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  JOHNSON  invited  Representative Hopkins  to  share                                                               
information about any districts with  which he would like DEED to                                                               
work.    He  assured  him  that the  department  reaches  out  to                                                               
schools.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
10:54:42 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER JOHNSON, in response  to a query from Representative                                                               
Zulkosky  as to  what conversations  have  been held  by DEED  to                                                               
identify "that we're really not  in a low-risk environment during                                                               
our  global pandemic,"  acknowledged  that there  is always  some                                                               
level of risk.   He said the department  is continually assessing                                                               
the risk.  He deferred to Dr. Zink.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
10:57:49 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
DR. ZINK confirmed that everyone is  at some degree of risk.  She                                                               
indicated  that  this is  reflected  in  the varying  risk  level                                                               
colors on the alert dashboard  and by both statewide and targeted                                                               
messaging about social distancing,  wearing masks, washing hands,                                                               
and  "keeping your  [social] bubble  small."   Further, there  is                                                               
ongoing  surveillance and  testing across  the state.   She  said                                                               
decisions  can be  made based  on  transmission, risk  tolerance,                                                               
adverse  effects of  not conducting  school or  businesses.   She                                                               
said the dashboard shows overall  state levels and rising trends.                                                               
She spoke  of the  connection worldwide  wherein higher  cases in                                                               
the Lower 48 can mean higher risk for Alaska.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
10:59:37 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND  noted that  she had  just looked  at the                                                               
DHSS dashboard and the interactive maps.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
11:00:31 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE ZULKOSKY asked how  DEED would address a situation                                                               
in which a  school district disagrees with the  assessment of its                                                               
local health officials.                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
11:00:53 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER JOHNSON  said he has  not had that  conversation and                                                               
has not  been made aware  of that circumstance.   If he  were, he                                                               
would follow  up with  the district  and "have  that conversation                                                               
with the team."                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
11:01:26 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER JOHNSON returned to the  PowerPoint.  He spoke about                                                               
the Summer  Smart Start 2020  Summit, information shown  on slide                                                               
21, which read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Summer Smart Start 2020 Summit in August                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     ? Virtual, multi-day professional development event                                                                        
     ? August 4  27, 2020                                                                                                       
        ? Mondays offer sessions developing communities                                                                         
       around various topics, collaborating in size-alike                                                                       
     districts;                                                                                                                 
           ? Tuesdays present specific topics within                                                                            
     Capacities and Conditions for Learning;                                                                                    
         ? Wednesdays provide opportunities for Virtual                                                                         
     Consultations; and                                                                                                         
          ? Thursdays focus on the Continuity of Learning.                                                                      
     ? https://aklearns.org/smartwebinar/                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  JOHNSON  related  that   summit  session  had  been                                                               
developed   for  stakeholders,   teachers,  administrators,   and                                                               
parents,  and he  invited the  committee members  to participate.                                                               
He  said the  goal of  the  summit is  collaboration, sharing  of                                                               
resources, and  development and refinement  of the  restart plan.                                                               
He  moved  on  to  slide  22, which  read  as  follows  [original                                                               
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     ECHO Information Sessions                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     ? DEED & DHSS co-host weekly webinars                                                                                      
        ? Technical support provided by Project ECHO at                                                                         
     UAA                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     ? School Health ECHO Series (Tue, 3pm)                                                                                     
       ?     Superintendents,      Principals,     School                                                                       
     Health/Nurse Leaders                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     ? Classroom Teacher ECHO Series (Wed, 1pm)                                                                                 
          ? Current classroom teachers                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     ? Alaska ECHO Projects:                                                                                                    
          ?https://www.uaa.alaska.edu/academics/college-of-                                                                     
     health/departments/center-for-human-    development/AK-                                                                    
     ECHO/index.cshtml                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER JOHNSON  said these sessions cover  topics including                                                               
the  following:     how  to  establish  a   school  health  team;                                                               
determining  a  protocol  team  for   when  a  positive  case  is                                                               
identified;   and  building   communication   plans  for   health                                                               
protocols in  schools.  He said  the first meeting was  held this                                                               
week, and over 90 school  health officials participated.  He said                                                               
the second session  is focused on classroom teachers,  and he and                                                               
Dr. Zink answer  questions posed by teachers.   He explained that                                                               
in an  echo session,  they answer questions  from the  field, and                                                               
then that gets echoed to the wider community.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER JOHNSON  offered to answer questions  before turning                                                               
the  PowerPoint  presentation over  to  Lacy  Sanders, who  would                                                               
provide an update on federal education funding.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
11:05:07 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER  JOHNSON, in  response to  a question  from Co-Chair                                                               
Story, as to  how support professionals are  being informed, said                                                               
the sessions are available to them.   He said the support team at                                                               
DHSS  is  working  daily  to  support  individual  groups.    For                                                               
example,  he   related  that  "the  facilities   team"  has  been                                                               
researching  building ventilation  and  how it  may mitigate  the                                                               
spread of  the virus.   He said,  "That's true for  each division                                                               
and unit in the department."                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
11:06:53 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER   JOHNSON,   in   response  to   a   question   from                                                               
Representative Johnson regarding how much  money was saved by not                                                               
having schools open  the last portion of the school  year and how                                                               
that may affect future funding,  said some of that information is                                                               
not  yet  available.   He  said  DEED  applied for  every  waiver                                                               
possible that would  allow districts to carry  over their federal                                                               
monies.    He  said  Governor   Dunleavy,  through  the  disaster                                                               
declaration,  allowed  districts  to  carry  over  more  than  10                                                               
percent, if  needed.  Districts  have been  working on this.   He                                                               
said  Ms. Sanders  would share  information  regarding CARES  Act                                                               
money and  some of  the waivers that  allowed districts  to carry                                                               
over the  money.   He said  that money can  be applied  to future                                                               
expenses, which districts may not even be able to name yet.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
11:08:43 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
COMMISSIONER   JOHNSON,   in   response  to   a   question   from                                                               
Representative Hopkins as to whether  DEED would be accepting all                                                               
plans from school districts as  is or requiring changes, said the                                                               
department does not  have the authority to  approve or disapprove                                                               
plans.   He said DEED  and "Dr. Ohlsen  and the team  there" will                                                               
review them and provide feedback  to districts.  He indicated the                                                               
authority to  approve plans  lies with local  school boards.   He                                                               
added that superintendents are being  given "the flexibility they                                                               
need to lead in a crisis that develops day by day."                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
11:10:12 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
LACEY   SANDERS,  Director,   Administrative  Services   Section,                                                               
Department of Education and Early  Development, gave a PowerPoint                                                               
presentation providing  a Federal Education Funding  Update.  [In                                                               
the committee  packet, Ms. Sanders'  PowerPoint is  adjoined with                                                               
the previous PowerPoint from Dr.  Zink and Commissioner Johnson.]                                                               
She reminded  the committee  of her previous  address to  them in                                                               
late  April and  that the  CARES Act  included $30.75  billion in                                                               
emergency  education  funding  to  states.   She  said  the  U.S.                                                               
Department  of Education  (DoE)  allocated funds  to three  pots:                                                               
the state education  agencies for state activities  and grants to                                                               
school  districts;  governors'  discretionary funds;  and  higher                                                               
education.  She said today's  information would address the first                                                               
two pots.   She directed attention  to slide 25, the  headings of                                                               
which read  as follows [original punctuation  provided, with some                                                               
formatting changes]:                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     CARES Act: General Education Funding Update ($44.9M)                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. SANDERS  related that out  of the $44.9 million  allocated to                                                               
the  State of  Alaska, approximately  86 percent  went to  school                                                               
districts; 8  percent went to  DEED to distribute  through grants                                                               
and contracts; 3  percent went to the University  of Alaska (UA);                                                               
1  percent went  to  the Alaska  Native  Science and  Engineering                                                               
Program (ANSEP);  10 percent  went to  grants to  other education                                                               
entities;  and  less  than  1  percent  went  to  DEED  to  cover                                                               
administrative costs.  She said  DEED's website offers a detailed                                                               
breakdown by school.  She stated,  "All of the above funds that I                                                               
have listed  to outside  entities, with the  exception of  the $1                                                               
million  in grant  to  other education  entities,  has been  made                                                               
available to  spend."  She noted  Alaska is ahead of  most states                                                               
in  this  regard.    She  said the  $1  million  grant  to  other                                                               
education  entities, through  the Governor's  Emergency Education                                                               
Relief (GEER)  Fund was publicized  by DEED  in June.   She said,                                                               
"The purpose  of the competitive  grant is to  provide education-                                                               
related   entities  the   opportunity  to   establish  innovative                                                               
strategies  to   carry  out   emergency  education   services  to                                                               
students, childcare  and early childcare education,  cultural and                                                               
emotional support,  and to support education-related  jobs."  She                                                               
said grant amounts range from $20,000  to $250,000.  She said the                                                               
application   period   has   closed,   and   DEED   received   67                                                               
applications,  which it  is reviewing.    These applications  are                                                               
available to view on the department's website under "forms."                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
11:13:59 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. SANDERS noted that slide  26 provides an additional breakdown                                                               
of  the aforementioned  grant allocations.   She  then turned  to                                                               
slide 27, which read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     CARES Act: Child Nutrition Programs Update ($41.8M)                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     ? DEED's Child Nutrition Programs received $41,869,616                                                                     
        in CARES Act funding from the U.S. Department of                                                                        
     Agriculture (USDA)                                                                                                         
          ?     Purpose:      Paying     National     School                                                                    
     Lunch/Breakfast,  Special Milk,  Child  and Adult  Care                                                                    
     Food,  and  Summer  Food  Service  Program  claims  for                                                                    
     reimbursement for meals served                                                                                             
          ? Time Period: March 2020 - September 2020                                                                            
        ? Allowable expenses: These funds are to support                                                                        
     the school nutrition program                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SANDERS reported  that approximately  $17.3 million  of this                                                               
funding has  been dispersed to  school districts.  She  said, "As                                                               
of  right  now,  our  regular  block grant  will  pay  for  child                                                               
nutrition programs after September 2020."                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
11:14:54 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR DRUMMOND asked  what the usual allocation  of funds from                                                               
the USDA to the State of Alaska for child nutrition funding is.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. SANDERS deferred to Jo Dawson.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
11:15:27 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
JO  DAWSON, School  Food  Coordinator,  Child Nutrition  Services                                                               
Section,  Department of  Education  and  Early Development,  said                                                               
DEED traditionally receives a block  grant annually from USDA; it                                                               
is approximately $61  million.  She said DEED  received CARES Act                                                               
funding in March  that replaced the block grant  for the duration                                                               
of COVID-19 response  through September 20, 2020.   She explained                                                               
that the  funding the  department normally  receives is  still in                                                               
place.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
11:16:56 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR STORY  noted there was  a $30 million cut  to districts,                                                               
and  she asked  Ms. Sanders  what  the conversation  has been  in                                                               
terms of how to pay for operations.                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
11:17:38 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SANDERS answered  that the  school districts  have a  three-                                                               
schoolyear  time  period in  which  to  spend  the funds.    This                                                               
funding and the Elementary and  Secondary School Emergency Relief                                                               
Fund (ESSERF)  monies are available  through September  20, 2020.                                                               
She said there is carryover  ability to school districts for both                                                               
federal and  non-federal funds.   She said  CARES Act  funding is                                                               
available as  reimbursement.  She related  that the congressional                                                               
delegation  is  currently  working   on  an  additional  COVID-19                                                               
funding  package,  which  will  include  additional  funding  for                                                               
school  districts.     She  advised   there  are   hold  harmless                                                               
provisions  in  statute  that  allow  districts  to  continue  to                                                               
receive funding.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
11:19:06 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  STORY clarified  her  interest  was knowing  what                                                               
conversations have taken place surrounding  the known $30 million                                                               
cut.                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MS  SANDERS  reiterated  that   school  districts  are  receiving                                                               
additional  funding to  meet  their needs,  as  well as  multiple                                                               
waivers at the federal level to carry forward their funding.                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR STORY  concluded that  Ms. Sanders  had not  spoken with                                                               
the districts.  She offered  her understanding that the money the                                                               
governor "put in"  was "the same amount of money  that would have                                                               
been the  cut."   She stated  that if  that money  is to  pay for                                                               
COVID-related expenses, then there will  still be a lack of money                                                               
for services.   She encouraged that conversation  take place, and                                                               
she said she would like a follow-up on the topic.                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MS.  SANDERS said  she would  continue to  work closely  with the                                                               
school districts on their funding plans.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
11:22:04 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
TOM KLAAMEYER, President,  National Education Association, Alaska                                                               
Affiliate  (NEA-AK),  expressed   that  these  are  unprecedented                                                               
times.   Currently COVID-19 has  claimed more than  600,000 lives                                                               
globally, 144,000  of whom are U.S.  Americans.  He said  that is                                                               
more Americans  than those  who died in  the Vietnam  War, Korean                                                               
War,  Iraq  War,  Afghanistan,   and  the  terrorist  attacks  of                                                               
September 11, 2001,  combined.  He expressed  hope that consensus                                                               
can be reached  on measures to protect  Alaskans, mitigate risks,                                                               
and prevent  needless illness  and death.   He stated  that until                                                               
there is  a vaccine, "our  lives and institutions  cannot operate                                                               
as  normal."   He  emphasized  that  this applies  especially  to                                                               
schools, where  student populations make it  difficult to operate                                                               
safely, especially in larger communities.   He said teachers want                                                               
to  be in  their  classrooms where  they can  have  an impact  on                                                               
students,  and  educators and  public  health  officials must  be                                                               
active participants  in the  discussion about  reopening schools,                                                               
as well  as when and how  to reenter classrooms.   He opined that                                                               
everyone's safety should be the top priority.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
11:24:57 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. KLAAMEYER said from July  17-22, 2020, NEA Alaska conducted a                                                               
survey of its  members to gauge feelings  about reopening schools                                                               
in  their districts.   There  were over  3,500 responses  from 39                                                               
different school  districts across  the state, and  the responses                                                               
varied.  The response rate  alone indicates the importance of the                                                               
issue.   He  shared a  key observation  from the  results of  the                                                               
survey was that over 76  percent of respondents had been informed                                                               
about their  districts' reopening plans.   He said this  is good;                                                               
however, it does  not speak to how involved teachers  were in the                                                               
discussions or  whether their recommendations were  followed.  Of                                                               
concern, he said, is that over  75 percent of respondents are "at                                                               
least  somewhat uncomfortable  with reopening  public schools  in                                                               
their district."   Half  of NEA  Alaska's members  indicated they                                                               
are  "very   uncomfortable"  with  reopening;  only   10  percent                                                               
responded  they   were  "completely  comfortable"  with   a  full                                                               
reopening.   He related that  when asked their preference  on how                                                               
to reopen  school in the  fall, 47  percent favored an  online or                                                               
distance delivery; 34 percent favored  a partial reopening, which                                                               
is referred  to as a  "blended" or  "hybrid" model.   He reported                                                               
only 16  percent of respondents  preferred a full reopening.   He                                                               
said the  top three  concerns were:   personal safety;  safety of                                                               
family members;  and the  possibility of  sick students  or staff                                                               
coming to school.  He added  that only 2.6 percent of respondents                                                               
had no concerns.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
11:27:56 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. KLAAMEYER  said school buildings  exist because they  are the                                                               
best place  to foster students'  success, and they  will continue                                                               
to serve  in that capacity  but will  need to be  retrofitted and                                                               
updated to  ensure learning can happen  safely.  He said  in some                                                               
urban areas  "flat funding" has created  crowded classrooms, with                                                               
up to 30 students in elementary  school classrooms and 40 or more                                                               
in  secondary school  classrooms.   In  rural  Alaska, that  flat                                                               
funding has  been exacerbated  by the  attrition of  teachers and                                                               
administrators, as  well as  rising healthcare  costs.   He said,                                                               
"Public education  has been in  crisis response mode  for years."                                                               
Mr. Klaameyer  relayed that  more recently,  funding specifically                                                               
appropriated  by  Congress for  COVID-19  response  "was used  to                                                               
backfill the  governor's veto."   He  clarified that  rather than                                                               
"preparing and protecting  our kids for COVID,"  the funds, which                                                               
are ultimately "one pot of money,"  will need to be used "to hold                                                               
the  line  against the  corrosive  effects  of inflation,  rising                                                               
energy costs, and healthcare costs."                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR.   KLAAMEYER  said   over   the   summer,  stakeholders   have                                                               
collaborated with  DEED on the  Smart Start plan,  which prepares                                                               
for  various  contingencies  that   districts  may  face  in  the                                                               
upcoming school  year.   He said  this narrative  was "highjacked                                                               
... by  national political  rhetoric seeking  ... to  link school                                                               
funding to  a full reopening,  without the concern of  the safety                                                               
of  students or  educators."    He said  this  has eroded  public                                                               
confidence in schools,  much consternation, unnecessary division,                                                               
and  has been  detrimental  to  the planning  process.   He  said                                                               
Alaska  educators  know  many   districts  will  face  challenges                                                               
related  to  variables such  as  COVID  presence, geography,  and                                                               
student density/capacity.   He said  some communities  have taken                                                               
deliberate  measures  to  control  exposure  to  COVID-19,  while                                                               
others  are grappling  with  the  impact of  the  virus on  their                                                               
communities and  families.  He  said the infections  suffered and                                                               
untimely deaths occurring  nationwide serve as a  reminder of the                                                               
stakes.                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
11:31:22 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. KLAAMEYER stated that school  reopening guidance should allow                                                               
for  local discretion  and input  from  communities; however,  it                                                               
should  be based  on scientific  data, not  political expediency.                                                               
He said one  shortcoming of the Smart Start structure  is that it                                                               
is advisory.   He emphasized,  "Ignored guidelines  don't protect                                                               
anyone."  He  said NEA Alaska is concerned  about those districts                                                               
in Alaska  that seem  to be forging  ahead without  following all                                                               
the guidelines, "including  one of the top five  districts in the                                                               
state."                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
MR.  KLAAMEYER stated  that with  adequate  resources and  public                                                               
health  data supporting  a safe  return of  students to  schools,                                                               
Alaska's educators stand ready to  work with students.  He opined                                                               
that  the opinions  of public  health experts  ought to  be taken                                                               
into  account  to  inform  decisions and  ensure  the  safety  of                                                               
students.   He  said in  order to  accomplish this,  the absolute                                                               
preconditions   for  reopening   schools  are   twofold:     One,                                                               
scientific  consensus  that  the   virus  has  been  sufficiently                                                               
contained and  local health  infrastructure that  can effectively                                                               
address  current  and  future  outbreaks;  and  two,  a  plan  to                                                               
continue  to  contain the  virus  that  includes robust  COVID-19                                                               
testing,  effective contact  tracing, and  case isolation  within                                                               
the school  community, in coordination  with large  community and                                                               
state efforts.   He said  elected officials must utilize  and act                                                               
upon  available public  health data  to keep  everyone safe.   He                                                               
said  educators want  to go  back  to classrooms,  but only  when                                                               
confident   that   decisions   regarding  districts   plans   and                                                               
frameworks  are   driven  by  CDC  guidance   and  public  health                                                               
officials, like Dr. Zink.                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
11:34:03 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. KLAAMEYER said he worries  that a premature return to schools                                                               
will directly  impact the  work of the  governor's task  force on                                                               
educator  attraction  and retention.    He  said NEA  Alaska  has                                                               
already had  inquiries from teachers  about the  ramifications of                                                               
early retirement,  which they are considering  rather than taking                                                               
the risk  of returning to  schools not in compliance  with health                                                               
and  safety protocols.   He  shared his  military background  and                                                               
spoke of  esprit de corps,  in which everyone does  his/her part.                                                               
He  said everyone  involved in  the education  system works  as a                                                               
team  to  make  learning  happen  safely  and  effectively.    He                                                               
expressed  thankfulness for  the  governor's  decision this  past                                                               
spring to  close schools  in response to  the uncertainty  of the                                                               
pandemic.   He  said  the  result of  that  was  that many  lives                                                               
potentially   were  saved,   the   healthcare   system  was   not                                                               
overwhelmed, and  schools did not  become centers for  the spread                                                               
of COVID-19.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
11:36:11 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. KLAAMEYER  said districts scrambled  to create  continuity of                                                               
education through remote  classroom learning for the  rest of the                                                               
school  year.   Since then,  DEED, district  leaders, principals,                                                               
and NEA Alaska's  members have been working to  capitalize on the                                                               
lessons learned during that process  to be ready for the possible                                                               
continuation  of  remote learning  in  the  fall.   He  mentioned                                                               
development of  the Alaska Smart Start  structure; investments in                                                               
computers and  Internet connectivity to provide  equitable access                                                               
statewide;  professional development  from districts;  the Alaska                                                               
Staff  Development Network  and NEA  Alaska; and  a collaborative                                                               
effort to provide an online  community to provide the support and                                                               
content  needed by  educators and  to share  resources statewide.                                                               
He said distance education this  fall, if necessary, will be much                                                               
better than it was in the spring.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
MR. KLAAMEYER said  NEA Alaska is working on  other measures with                                                               
federal legislation to  improve access in rural  schools by being                                                               
able  to  rebroadcast  the  Internet  signal  that  goes  through                                                               
schools via "the  e-rate" to students' homes.   He indicated that                                                               
NEA Alaska is developing a  platform for shared resources, and he                                                               
expressed   appreciation   for   the   commissioner's   work   in                                                               
facilitating  that.   He  expressed  NEA  Alaska's commitment  to                                                               
ensuring education  to students  and looking  forward to  the day                                                               
when students  can safely  convene in person.   He  expressed his                                                               
appreciation  to  the  House  Education  Standing  Committee  for                                                               
facilitating this conversation and inviting him to speak.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
11:39:50 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  JOHNSON  noted  that   the  American  Academy  of                                                               
Pediatrics  (AAP)  issued  guidelines   for  the  functioning  of                                                               
schools in  a safe manner.   She  asked Mr. Klaameyer  to specify                                                               
what he meant when he mentioned the scientific community.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR. KLAAMEYER concurred that the AAP  is a scientific source.  He                                                               
said CDC  guidelines have  been clear,  and Dr.  Zink's testimony                                                               
covered many strategies being put  in place "to accomplish that."                                                               
He  said  it  will  probably  be safe  to  return  to  school  in                                                               
communities where  there has been  little spread; it's  the other                                                               
communities  where   there  has   been  spread  that   will  pose                                                               
difficulty.   He  said  the  Smart Start  protocol  is not  being                                                               
followed everywhere.                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
11:43:02 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE JOHNSON  offered her  understanding that  there is                                                               
some  indication  that "the  big  research  groups" feel  that  a                                                               
danger  to children  is  the  long-term effect  of  being out  of                                                               
school.   She said she  supports making "a  data-given decision,"                                                               
but pointed out the changing nature  of the data.  Meanwhile, she                                                               
said,  children are  getting  older, and  Alaska  is required  by                                                               
constitution to  educate its children.   She said she  had spoken                                                               
with   an   older,  retired   teacher,   and   she  offered   her                                                               
understanding that  "the older you  get, the more likely  you are                                                               
to  have effects  from  COVID."   She  asked  whether anyone  had                                                               
considered  giving  the  younger  teachers with  lower  risk  the                                                               
opportunity to  teach in  the schools, and  to have  the teachers                                                               
move between the classrooms.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR. KLAAMEYER  thanked Representative  Johnson for  the question.                                                               
He said he  thinks "those things" are going to  vary by community                                                               
based on what  is happening in each community.   He expressed his                                                               
confidence in the  ability to continue education  by operating in                                                               
a blended or  remote environment.  He emphasized  that NEA Alaska                                                               
is not  proposing nothing  be done;  conversely, it  is proposing                                                               
"we do  the best we  can."  Time and  money has been  invested to                                                               
learn about  remote learning,  and more  professional development                                                               
will happen to ensure this can  be done safely.  This can protect                                                               
older staff with underlying health  concern and students who live                                                               
with  family  members  with underlying  health  concerns.    Some                                                               
parents  are not  comfortable with  their  children returning  to                                                               
school during  the pandemic.   He said accommodations need  to be                                                               
made to ensure those students  get their education.  He suggested                                                               
students  who need  to learn  remotely  could be  paired up  with                                                               
educators  who   need  to  teach   remotely.    He   agreed  with                                                               
Representative  Johnson  that  it  would  be  a  lengthy  process                                                               
[before a vaccine is developed].                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
11:47:54 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE DRUMMOND  said the committee would  next hear from                                                               
Dr. Parady, followed by school superintendents.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
11:48:37 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
LISA  S. PARADY,  Ph.D., Executive  Director,  Alaska Council  of                                                               
School   Administrators   (ACSA),  co-presented   a   PowerPoint,                                                               
entitled "Providing a Safe Smart  Start for Alaska Public Schools                                                               
2020 -2021 District  Plans."  She directed attention  to slide 2,                                                               
which read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     The AASA  COVID-19 Recovery  Task Force  Guidelines for                                                                    
     Reopening Schools:  An opportunity to  Transform Public                                                                    
     Education                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     1.   Plan   for   Multiple  Reopening   Scenarios   and                                                                    
     Contingencies to  Ensure the  Health, Safety  and Well-                                                                    
     Being of All Students and Staff                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     2. Build  a COVID-19-Response  Reopening Infrastructure                                                                    
     Aligned with Changing Scenarios and Needs                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     3. Ensure  Students' and Families' Equitable  Access to                                                                    
     Technology Required for Virtual Learning                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     4. Provide  Continuing Support  to Students  and Adults                                                                    
     to  Address  Their  Immediate and  Long-Term  Physical,                                                                    
     Psychological, Social and Emotional Needs                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     5. Ensure All Schools Are Trauma-Informed and Trauma-                                                                      
     Skilled                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
     6.  Prepare  for   COVID-19-Related  Changes  in  Human                                                                    
     Resource Management and Practices                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     7.  Offer   Ongoing  Personalized   and  Differentiated                                                                    
     Professional Learning                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     8.  Transform the  Teaching-Learning-Assessment Process                                                                    
     to     Ensure    Personalization,     Engagement    and                                                                    
     Differentiation                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     9.  Anticipate   COVID-19-Related  Budget   and  Fiscal                                                                    
     Management Issues                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     10. Embrace a New Paradigm for Public Education                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
DR.  PARADY stated  that the  Alaska Superintendents  Association                                                               
(ASA) serves to  ensure high quality education  for all children.                                                               
She  thanked all  superintendents  for  their leadership  through                                                               
unprecedented  times  and  encouraged  support  for  them.    She                                                               
thanked  Commissioner Johnson,  Dr.  Zink, and  others for  their                                                               
guidance   and  support,   and  she   extolled  the   benefit  of                                                               
collaboration when responding to  a rapidly changing environment.                                                               
She  emphasized  that "every  plan  is  in  process."   She  said                                                               
district leaders  must have  the ability to  react quickly.   She                                                               
noted  that slide  2  shows the  number  of considerations  being                                                               
navigated.  She said most district  leaders have not had a break,                                                               
and they  are dealing  with a multitude  of issues  that upcoming                                                               
speakers would  address.   She said  ASCA hosts  regular meetings                                                               
for superintendents, principals,  and statewide education leaders                                                               
"for ongoing  COVID communication  collaboration."  She  said the                                                               
Alaska  Staff Development  Network (ASDN),  a private,  nonprofit                                                               
organization,  is  supporting the  return  of  school in  August,                                                               
providing  three weeks  of no-cost  topical  webinars covering  a                                                               
variety  of subjects,  along with  tools for  remote instruction.                                                               
She  said  ASDN  provided  these  webinars  in  the  spring,  and                                                               
thousands of teachers and educators took part.                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
11:52:07 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
DR.  PARADY  related that  [the  American  Association of  School                                                               
Administrators,    referred   to    as   the    National   School                                                               
Superintendents Association]  (AASA) partnered with  the [Alaska]                                                               
Association of  School Business  Officials (ALASBO)  and released                                                               
estimates  in June  of likely  costs  of reopening  schools in  a                                                               
COVID-19  pandemic  environment.    Taking  into  account  health                                                               
protocols, staffing  needs, personal protection  equipment (PPE),                                                               
transportation, and  child care,  the estimated  total additional                                                               
expense  for an  average national  district would  be $1,778,000.                                                               
She said she would provide a  breakdown of that to the committee.                                                               
She said  schools will  need additional  funding to  support this                                                               
expense.  She spoke of  a roundtable with Senator Lisa Murkowski,                                                               
who  noted   that  pre-pandemic  funding  for   schools  was  not                                                               
sufficient, and it is certainly  not adequate now.  She indicated                                                               
that  approximately $105  billion was  in a  U.S. Senate  support                                                               
package, and she expressed her hope  that "all of us" can talk to                                                               
the  congressional  delegation to  encourage  the  package to  go                                                               
forward, "without strings."  She  said districts will continue to                                                               
need  funding, because  "all of  our collective  focus is  on the                                                               
health  and safety  and  ongoing learning  of  our students,  our                                                               
staffs, and our ... communities."   She said she looks forward to                                                               
continuing work with the committee  on funding and policy issues,                                                               
as well as other issues,  including connectivity issues in remote                                                               
areas.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
11:54:43 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
KERRY   BOYD,  Superintendent,   Yukon-Koyukuk  School   District                                                               
(YKSD), said  she would cover  the following topics:   safety and                                                               
health,  scheduling childcare,  essential  needs students,  CARES                                                               
Act funding,  loss of learning,  and challenges.  She  offered an                                                               
overview of YKSD,  including its unique combination  of urban and                                                               
rural  areas totaling  over  70,000 square  miles  with 9  remote                                                               
schools ranging in size from  12-90 [students].  She related that                                                               
the  district already  has 900  more students  enrolled than  its                                                               
average;  its special  needs population  and homeschool  programs                                                               
have  doubled; and  the height  of  its enrollment  is not  until                                                               
August.  She said the  Raven Homeschool offices will be following                                                               
local  protocols in  terms of  whether  or not  they operate  via                                                               
distance education.  The remote  schools, being small, are better                                                               
suited for social distancing.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
11:57:14 AM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. BOYD, addressing  the information on slides  4-5, remarked on                                                               
the speed at  which things can change during a  pandemic and said                                                               
currently  the  district was  between  a  "green" [low-risk]  and                                                               
"yellow" [medium  risk] "opening."   She said YKSD  has stringent                                                               
guidance in place; it does  symptom and temperature checks at the                                                               
door [of  the schools], trains  parents, holds classroom  size to                                                               
8-10,  with one  exception at  its largest  school, which  has 90                                                               
students, and where it will spread  out those students.  She said                                                               
parents in village schools are  anxious for their children to get                                                               
back to  school.  When school  was closed in March,  the district                                                               
did not have the infrastructure  for distance delivery; while the                                                               
Internet use was being gifted by  the supplier, YKSD was not able                                                               
to  take  advantage   of  it.    It  is  working   to  build  the                                                               
infrastructure to  prepare for future  closure, but it is  a slow                                                               
process, she remarked.                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. BOYD said communities in  the district are being vigilant [in                                                               
keeping  out  anyone  with COVID-19]  by  patrolling  waters  and                                                               
airplanes.  Currently there is only  one case.  She said in order                                                               
to  get  in  or  out  of  the villages,  a  person  has  to  have                                                               
permission of  the chief  and community leaders.   She  said this                                                               
presents a challenge.  School  is starting late, because teachers                                                               
[coming  to  or   returning  to  a  district]   are  required  to                                                               
quarantine  for 2  weeks  in  Fairbanks.   She  said  there is  a                                                               
provision allowing  communities with  populations up to  1,000 to                                                               
require  additional   restrictions  for  incoming   and  outgoing                                                               
travelers.   She  said she  believes this  helps keep  out COVID.                                                               
She said  she is  aware of only  one case in  the district.   She                                                               
said the  district is relying  on self-reporting.   She mentioned                                                               
there is a  stigma.  She said the district  is working with local                                                               
health communities to develop a plan.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
12:00:13 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. BOYD said at this time,  YKSD's schools are scheduled to open                                                               
at  their regular  hours Monday  through Friday.   She  indicated                                                               
that the schools will be  sanitized frequently, and children will                                                               
be socially  distanced on busses, as  well as in classrooms.   To                                                               
minimize the spread  of COVID-19, no travel is  allowed for staff                                                               
or  students  for the  remainder  of  the  year.   She  said  the                                                               
district ordered  PPE months ago  and will continue to  order it.                                                               
Plexiglass dividers  are in place for  administrative staff, with                                                               
desks further apart.   Sanitizing supplies have been  sent out to                                                               
the schools.   She  said the  state has  ordered cloth  masks for                                                               
every student and staff.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
MS. BOYD said  if the schools "go to yellow,"  then there will be                                                               
stricter guidelines in  place.  She talked about a  heat map, but                                                               
said  it doesn't  identify specific  communities.   She said  the                                                               
district  is working  with the  local health  community on  this.                                                               
She reiterated  that YKSD  is working  on its  Internet capacity.                                                               
It  is  practicing  Zoom  meetings  and  online  delivery  inside                                                               
classrooms while  it has the Internet  there to do so.   She said                                                               
teachers do  have Internet  in the  district housing  provided to                                                               
them.                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
MS. BOYD  addressed the  issue of  childcare.   She spoke  of the                                                               
challenge  to  parents who  are  working  and homeschooling  when                                                               
schools are shut  down.  She noted that  Commissioner Johnson has                                                               
given  her a  template to  use  that she  said is  helpful.   She                                                               
credited  DEED, the  association,  and the  medical community  in                                                               
meeting with  superintendents.   In terms  of special  needs, she                                                               
said there is  a plan in place  now to be able to  meet the needs                                                               
of  students, especially  those with  critical needs.   She  said                                                               
with  Raven Homeschool  growing  "from 170  to  over double  with                                                               
special  needs,"  there  are  currently  five  vacant  positions.                                                               
There  was a  learning period  in March  when the  schools closed                                                               
down.   Work has been  done over  the summer.   Contingency plans                                                               
have  been considered  for green,  yellow, and  red risk  levels.                                                               
She  said in  the first  two weeks  of school,  students will  be                                                               
assessed and learning plans created  for each.  The district will                                                               
hire consultants to help get this big job done.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
12:04:43 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. BOYD talked about social/emotional  learning (SEL).  She said                                                               
there is only one counselor for  its "nine river schools."  There                                                               
is one vacancy.  She  said YKSD coordinates with Tanana Community                                                               
College (TCC).   She indicated  that staff is being  trained, and                                                               
there are challenges  in this area.  She said  YKSD does not have                                                               
a health nurse  for any of its schools, and  some villages do not                                                               
have health  clinics.  She listed  the partnership with TCC  as a                                                               
strength.   She said Commissioner  Johnson is helping YKSD  get a                                                               
townhall meeting  to discuss and  get answers to  questions about                                                               
COVID-19 from the  medical community.  She relayed  that about 20                                                               
percent  of staff  is  over  the age  of  60;  several staff  has                                                               
requested not  to work.   She said those  who will want  to leave                                                               
for  Christmas  will   end  up  out  of  school   longer  due  to                                                               
quarantine.   She said the  turnaround time for  COVID-19 testing                                                               
is running  6-10 days.   She  said a  lot of  work is  being done                                                               
overall, and the work continues  because of the changes happening                                                               
daily.                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
12:06:52 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
JOHN  CONWELL,  Superintendent,  Unalaska  City  School  District                                                               
(UCSD),  picked up  the PowerPoint,  on  slide 7,  which read  as                                                               
follows  [original  punctuation  provided, with  some  formatting                                                               
changes]:                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     Plans developed with guidance from:                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     ?  Federal,  state  and local  health  and  educational                                                                    
     agencies                                                                                                                   
     ?  City Risk  Manager  and  local Emergency  Operations                                                                    
     Center                                                                                                                     
     ? Survey responses from UCSD families                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     Unified Incident Command Structure                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Formed at the inception of  the pandemic, this team met                                                                    
     daily  through  the initial  phase  of  the crisis  and                                                                    
     created  a   unified  voice  for  local   leaders  that                                                                    
     community members now look to for guidance.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Plans are EVOLVING                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     The plan  will continue to  evolve up to and  after the                                                                    
     first  official  day  of  school   on  August  19.  The                                                                    
     overarching goal  of the plan  is to  provide in-person                                                                    
     PK-12   education  while   protecting  the   health  of                                                                    
     employees, students and the community at large.                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. CONWELL paraphrased advice Dr.  Zink gave to school districts                                                               
and superintendents, as  follows:  "Keep the essence  of what you                                                               
do   alive,  while   keeping  the   spread  of   the  coronavirus                                                               
minimized."  He  said UCSD is effective  at in-person instruction                                                               
and  less so  with  remote  instruction.   He  explained this  is                                                               
because of the lack of adequate  bandwidth.  He said the district                                                               
believes  it  can  open  its  schools  five  days  a  week  while                                                               
practicing the safety protocols.   It is working closely with its                                                               
local unified incident command structure  and has access to local                                                               
healthcare authorities, its city  risk manager, and other experts                                                               
in the community.   He noted that the city's  risk thresholds are                                                               
more stringent than that of the  state.  Currently there has been                                                               
no  community  spread  in  Unalaska,  although  there  have  been                                                               
positive cases coming in on fishing trawlers and the ferry.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
MR. CONWELL  referred to the  information on slide 8,  which read                                                               
as follows  [original punctuation provided, with  some formatting                                                               
changes]:                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     August 12-15                                                                                                               
     Professional development  devoted to training  in Smart                                                                    
     Start Plan implementation.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     Aug. 19-21                                                                                                                 
     "soft-opening"  whereby only  2  classes  per half  day                                                                    
     will attend to meet teachers  and learn new Smart Start                                                                    
     routines.                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Low/Medium Risk Protocol Measures:                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     ?   Social  distancing:   6  ft.   spacing,  plexiglass                                                                    
     dividers,                                                                                                                  
     ? Face coverings: School  buses, hallways, locker rooms                                                                    
     and anywhere 6 ft distance isn't possible                                                                                  
     ? Personal hygiene: Proper handwashing measures                                                                            
     ?  Temperature  and  health  screenings:  Family  "care                                                                    
     kits"                                                                                                                      
     ?  Visitors:  Face  masks, social  distancing,  secured                                                                    
     access                                                                                                                     
     ? Recess: Encouraged outdoor recreation                                                                                    
     ? Social Emotional  Learning/Mental Health: instruction                                                                    
     incorporated daily when feasible                                                                                           
     ? Training for personnel devoted to Smart Start                                                                            
     ?  Training for  students first  days devoted  to Smart                                                                    
     Start education                                                                                                            
     ? Remote Education an option for families                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
MR. CONWELL talked about creating  a fun environment for learning                                                               
amidst these safety measures.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
12:11:38 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. CONWELL directed attention to  slide 9, which read as follows                                                               
[original punctuation provided, with some formatting changes]:                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     If the Emergency Operations  Center elevates local risk                                                                    
     to  HIGH, schools  would need  to  pivot to  home-based                                                                    
     education much like last spring.                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Our  current planning  includes  the implementation  of                                                                    
     measures that  would seek to improve  on the home-based                                                                    
     learning experience from last spring.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     High Risk Protocol Measures:                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     ? Home-based education for all students                                                                                    
     ?  Adoption  of  standardized  learning  platforms  for                                                                    
     online, district supported for K-4 and 5-12.                                                                               
     ?  Transitioning  to  a   hybrid  1:1  computer  device                                                                    
     program                                                                                                                    
     ? Offer  Alaska Statewide Virtual System  as a distance                                                                    
     learning option                                                                                                            
     ?  Maintain   a  daily  class  schedule   with  limited                                                                    
     flexibility for special circumstances                                                                                      
     ? Re-launch  the homework and removable  drive exchange                                                                    
     program                                                                                                                    
     ?  Continued   partnership  with  KUCB  Channel   8  to                                                                    
     broadcast   educational  content   that  is   developed                                                                    
     locally or from PBS                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
12:13:28 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
BRIDGET  WEISS,  Ph.D.,  Superintendent, Juneau  School  District                                                               
(JSD),  continued  the  PowerPoint,  bringing  attention  to  the                                                               
information  on  slide  12,  which   read  as  follows  [original                                                               
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     JUNEAU: BLENDED MODEL                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     ? ELEMENTARY: 4 HALF DAYS                                                                                                  
     ? MS/HS: AB SCHEDULE                                                                                                       
     ?  ALL SCHOOLS:  WEDNESDAY  AS AN  E  LEARNING DAY  FOR                                                                    
     STUDENTS                                                                                                                   
     ? CONSIDERATIONS MADE:                                                                                                     
     ? STUDENTS WITH  SPECIAL NEEDS WILL ATTEND  FULL DAY, 4                                                                    
     DAYS A WEEK AT ELEMENTARY                                                                                                  
     ?  ADDITIONAL DAYS  AS POSSIBLE  AT MS/HS  FOR STUDENTS                                                                    
     WITH SPECIAL NEEDS                                                                                                         
     ? ISSUES: SAFETY AND EQUITY JUNEAU: BLENDED MODEL                                                                          
     ? ELEMENTARY: 4 HALF DAYS                                                                                                  
     ? MS/HS: AB SCHEDULE                                                                                                       
       ? ALL SCHOOLS: WEDNESDAY AS AN E LEARNING DAY FOR                                                                        
     STUDENTS                                                                                                                   
     ? CONSIDERATIONS MADE:                                                                                                     
     ? STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS WILL ATTEND FULL DAY, 4                                                                      
     DAYS A WEEK AT ELEMENTARY                                                                                                  
      ? ADDITIONAL DAYS AS POSSIBLE AT MS/HS FOR STUDENTS                                                                       
     WITH SPECIAL NEEDS                                                                                                         
     ? ISSUES: SAFETY AND EQUITY                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
DR.  WEISS explained  that with  four, half  days for  elementary                                                               
students, the  fifth day  would be used  for teachers  to prepare                                                               
and train  and for staff  to disinfect  the buildings.   She said                                                               
the decision was based on  the vulnerability of elementary school                                                               
children,  in terms  of  their learning  needs  and capacity  for                                                               
learning development.   She  explained that  two full  days would                                                               
have  left them  with too  big a  gap between  learning sessions.                                                               
She explained "AB  SCHEDULE" for high school  students meant they                                                               
would  be attending  school  full days,  two days  a  week.   She                                                               
emphasized  the difficulty  in making  these decisions  regarding                                                               
time  in school  versus distance  learning the  remainder of  the                                                               
week.   She said when the  risk level drops, the  district may be                                                               
able  to increase  the  number of  days  students have  in-person                                                               
learning  at  school.    She  said  the  district  is  constantly                                                               
balancing equity and safety.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
12:16:14 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
DR. WEISS  turned to  slide 13, which  read as  follows [original                                                               
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     CHILDCARE, CARES $ AND OUR MOST VULNERABLE                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
     ? CHILDCARE                                                                                                                
          ? SIGNIFICANT challenge!                                                                                              
          ? WORKING WITH CBJ TASK FORCE                                                                                         
        ? DEVELOPING STRUCTURE FOR STAFFbut not sure yet                                                                        
     how to support it financially                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     ? CARES                                                                                                                    
          ? Developed a 1:1 device program                                                                                      
          ? PPE for buildings and personnel                                                                                     
        ? NOT enoughwe will need additional funding for                                                                         
     staff and academic recovery                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
DR.  WEISS   said  the  district  seldom   disrupts  the  support                                                               
structures families have in regard  to childcare; [closure of in-                                                               
person  classroom learning]  affects families  in the  long term.                                                               
Further, she noted that there  are approximately 80 staff members                                                               
with children  in the district.   Regarding expenditure  of CARES                                                               
Act funds, she  said the 1:1 devices that  were purchased address                                                               
the issue  of equity, and  she relayed that the  district brought                                                               
500  "humanity shields"  and  is prepared  to  purchase more,  if                                                               
needed.    She  acknowledged Co-Chair  Story's  previous  remarks                                                               
concerning  the  lack of  funds  in  the  district prior  to  the                                                               
pandemic, and  she emphasized that  the district  needs financial                                                               
support.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
12:19:26 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
DR. WIESS  introduced slide 14,  which read as  follows [original                                                               
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     RESPOND, REBOOT, AND RECOVERY                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     ? Current  response effort is  something we  have never                                                                    
     done before:                                                                                                               
          ?  Distance  delivery,   home  schooling  options,                                                                    
     special  education  needs, curricular  strategies  with                                                                    
     blended  model, mitigation  in  environments where  the                                                                    
     guidelines are nearly impossible                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     ? Reboot:                                                                                                                  
          ? We  hope to  learn from  our experiences  and be                                                                    
     better for  it in the end,  but in the here  and now we                                                                    
     are  asking   A  LOT  from  every   individual  in  our                                                                    
     organizations.  And   the  real   threat  of   loss  of                                                                    
     enrollment and the impact to our funding is daunting.                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     ? RECOVERY:                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     ? The stages  of recovery will take on a  life of their                                                                    
     own  as we  proceed: we  need support  now in  order to                                                                    
     deliver  high quality  instruction  with  the level  of                                                                    
     mitigation   necessary   for  safety,   however?as   we                                                                    
     proceed, the  losses will take  time to  recoup. Summer                                                                    
     of 2021  will be a critical  stretch of time for  us to                                                                    
     augment learning  opportunities and  the cost  is going                                                                    
     to be a huge challenge.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
DR.  WEISS emphasized  that students  would be  starting back  to                                                               
school after five months of  no structured learning and emotional                                                               
support  environment.    She  pointed out  there  have  not  been                                                               
typical social environments like  Sunday school and summer camps.                                                               
She talked  about the  programs necessary in  summer of  2021 and                                                               
the money that would be necessary to fund them.                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
12:20:52 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
TERRI  WALKER, Superintendent,  Northwest  Arctic Borough  School                                                               
District  (NABSD),   continued  with  the  PowerPoint   and  drew                                                               
attention to the  information on slide 16, which  read as follows                                                               
[original punctuation provided]:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Mission                                                                                                                    
     The Northwest Arctic Borough School District's mission                                                                     
     is to provide a learning environment that inspires and                                                                     
     challenges students and employees to excel.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Priorities for Reopening                                                                                                   
         ? Safety and security of students, staff, and                                                                          
     community                                                                                                                  
     ? Social and emotional well-being of our students and                                                                      
     staff                                                                                                                      
      ? Targeted instruction for students using platforms                                                                       
     that can be used in classrooms and remotely                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. WALKER  noted that there  are 2,000 students spread  out over                                                               
39,000 square  miles in NABSD.   She moved on to  slide 17, which                                                               
read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Flexible Learning Plan                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     ? Extended start date                                                                                                      
     ? School will start on August 20, 2020                                                                                     
     ? Orientation for parents/students the first two days                                                                      
     ? Staggered schedules                                                                                                      
     ? 1:1 electronic device for each student K-12                                                                              
     ? Middle/High school block schedule                                                                                        
     ? Blended learning model                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  WALKER said  the August  20 start  is late  because teachers                                                               
need to quarantine.  She spoke  of the necessity of responding to                                                               
various  risk   levels  during  the  pandemic.     Regarding  the                                                               
orientation,  she  said parents  would  meet  teachers and  learn                                                               
about devices, schedules, safety  protocols, and the meal service                                                               
plan.  She said the staggered  schedules would be two days a week                                                               
in  classroom and  three days  a  week distance  learning.   Each                                                               
student will  have an iPad.   The  middle school and  high school                                                               
students  will  have three  classes  per  "quarter" totaling  six                                                               
classes in a  "semester."  This was a plan  to avoid overwhelming                                                               
students trying to cover six classes at home.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
12:25:15 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS. WALKER directed attention to  slide 18, which read as follows                                                               
[original punctuation provided]:                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     Medium Risk Opening                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     ? Practice protocols and expectations                                                                                      
     ? Cohort rostering and staggered scheduling                                                                                
     ? On-site and remote teaching                                                                                              
     ? Blended learning lessons                                                                                                 
     ? Social and emotional needs of students                                                                                   
     ? Meals at home and in-school                                                                                              
     ? Provide information and training                                                                                         
     ? Safety measures in place                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. WALKER noted  that the district had spent CARES  Act funds on                                                               
face masks, gowns  for the special needs  department, gloves, and                                                               
disinfectant. She indicated the district  had also spent money on                                                               
long-distance  audio  calls  to connect  teachers  with  students                                                               
without Internet  "last year."   She said  the district  does not                                                               
have the funds to provide a  counselor at each site, so it bought                                                               
a  SEL  program  for  its  elementary  students,  having  already                                                               
purchased it  for high school  students.  It has  purchased iPads                                                               
for each student.   The district anticipates costs  for hotel and                                                               
per diem  of employees on  layover in Kotzebue and  Anchorage for                                                               
COVID-19  testing.   She said  the district  issued "a  number of                                                               
EDCs" for  principals and  teachers to work  over the  summer and                                                               
assist  with the  Smart Start  plan.   She emphasized  that COVID                                                               
expenses would  far exceed the  amount the district  has received                                                               
from CARES Act funds; it will  not cover the expense necessary to                                                               
keep students safe over the  next school year, including Internet                                                               
access and ongoing supplies.                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
12:29:31 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
DEENA   M.  BISHOP,   Ed.D.,  Superintendent,   Anchorage  School                                                               
District (ASD),  took over the  PowerPoint presentation  and said                                                               
she would speak to risk  level decision-making and ASD's response                                                               
to schooling  and safety.   She directed  attention to  slide 21,                                                               
which shows  two matrixes  regarding risk  assessment.   She said                                                               
that  with  input from  medical  and  science professionals,  ASD                                                               
created  a  response and  decision-making  matrix.   She  brought                                                               
attention to the left-hand side of  the matrix and pointed to the                                                               
three colors  indicating the municipality's alert  levels created                                                               
by DHSS:   high [red],  intermediate [orange], and  low [yellow].                                                               
On the  right side  she pointed  to DEED's  risk levels  for ASD:                                                               
high  [red],   medium-high  and  medium-low  [yellow],   and  low                                                               
[green].   She said the  state's dashboard provides  the modeling                                                               
and matrix per  cases over a 14-day  means; as of last  week a 7-                                                               
day average  was also  provided.   She said  ASD utilizes  a more                                                               
stable look  at alert levels; the  two are side by  side in order                                                               
that  the community  "can understand  the decision-making."   She                                                               
said ASD has  broken down the 300,000 person  population into the                                                               
number of  new cases daily averaged  over 15 days.   She referred                                                               
again to the yellow medium-risk level  on the right and said, "We                                                               
wanted to  engage our community as  much as possible, but  with a                                                               
slow start, so  that our staff, students, and  families feel safe                                                               
and are comfortable with the protocols."                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
DR. BISHOP  moved on  to slide  22, which  showed the  ASD School                                                               
Start Risk Level Response Plan  for low, medium-low, medium-high,                                                               
and high risk, and for ASD at school  or ASD at home.  The latter                                                               
has a  new virtual program, as  well as enrollment choice  in one                                                               
of ASD's three home  schools.  She said, "The ASD  at home is for                                                               
families that  want to  stay connected to  their home  school but                                                               
don't  feel  necessarily  comfortable."    She  stated,  "We  are                                                               
operating  this on  a cohort  model, as  suggested by  Dr. Zink."                                                               
She compared it to a one-room schoolhouse.                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
12:32:56 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
DR. BISHOP  directed attention to  slide 23, which is  a response                                                               
matrix  based on  the number  of confirmed  COVID-19 cases.   She                                                               
said two  weeks ago she  announced a high-medium risk  level, and                                                               
with the rise in numbers, she  predicted ASD would be moving into                                                               
the high-risk category.  She  noted that the matrix shows remarks                                                               
based on  the number of  cases, as  well as the  assumptions that                                                               
inform those remarks.   A high-risk model does  not mean everyone                                                               
will be at  home, she said.  Students would  "begin at home," and                                                               
ASD  staff would  report to  the buildings  and use  the Internet                                                               
provided by  the school.  She  said the district would  plan time                                                               
for parents to come in to  meet teachers for the new school year,                                                               
and safety protocols would be followed.   She said ASD staff will                                                               
be  wearing masks.    Those who  choose not  to  are invited  "to                                                               
utilize the virtual  at-home program."  She added  that those who                                                               
cannot  wear masks  for medical  reasons would  be provided  with                                                               
waivers.                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
12:35:28 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
BETH  LOUGEE, Superintendent,  Ketchikan  Gateway Borough  School                                                               
District (KGBSD), resumed the  PowerPoint presentation by showing                                                               
slide 25.   She  said KGBSD  serves approximately  2,300 students                                                               
from preschool  through twelfth grade  and offers a  wide variety                                                               
of  programming  in its  three  elementary  schools, two  charter                                                               
schools,   two  middle   schools,  one   high  school,   and  one                                                               
junior/senior  alternative school.   She  said the  district also                                                               
provides    a   homeschool    correspondence   program,    called                                                               
"Fasttrack," and provides online  courses via its digital academy                                                               
platform.    Ms.  Lougee  said  the  district  employs  over  400                                                               
permanent, full-time  staff and over 150  temporary or substitute                                                               
personnel, many  of whom are  graduates of the  district's school                                                               
system.    She  said  KGBSD is  the  second-largest  employer  in                                                               
Ketchikan.   She said  the district  has responsibility  to enter                                                               
into  fall schooling  with a  careful plan  that will  ensure the                                                               
health  and safety  of students,  staff, and  community, and  for                                                               
that reason,  the district has  been working closely  since March                                                               
with  the  local  emergency  operations  command,  the  Ketchikan                                                               
Education Association (KEA), parents,  local agencies, DEED, ASA,                                                               
and the  Association of Alaska  School Boards (AASB), as  well as                                                               
state and local public health experts.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
MS. LOUGEE turned  attention to slide 26, which  shows a learning                                                               
plan  timeline for  KBGSD.   She spoke  about the  information on                                                               
slide 27, which read as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                
                                                                                                                                
     The district's top priority is  providing for the needs                                                                    
     of our students, families,  staff, and community during                                                                    
     this time,  charting a path  forward for  educating our                                                                    
     students, and  keeping them safe  at the same  time. We                                                                    
     are  committed  to   doing  what  we  need   to  do  to                                                                    
     accomplish this.                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     Considerations and Challenges:                                                                                             
     ?  Planning time  and training  for different  tiers of                                                                    
     instruction                                                                                                                
     ?  Resources   to  support   the  different   tiers  of                                                                    
     instruction (staff, space, PPE)                                                                                            
     ? Managing  the daily changes with  updated information                                                                    
     due to new recommendations and restrictions                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. LOUGEE said KBGSD will provide  each student with a device to                                                               
access learning  remotely, and it  will acquire  additional space                                                               
to  facilitate  on-sight student  attendance.    She said  public                                                               
input asks  for a variety of  options in the fall.   The district                                                               
will need  to respond  to all  scenarios, and  "there is  no one-                                                               
size-fits-all model."  She said  the district is taking a blended                                                               
approach  and  plans  to  provide:    onsite  instruction  Monday                                                               
through Thursday, with Friday serving  as a distance-learning day                                                               
for  students,   a  professional  development/planning   day  for                                                               
teachers,  and day  for disinfecting  schools; district  learning                                                               
for all families  not able to facilitate  onsite schooling; small                                                               
bubbles   in  classrooms,   with  limited   congregate  settings;                                                               
increased  health  and  safety  measures;  and  onsite  schedules                                                               
structured around the needs of  each grade level and often around                                                               
each student.   She  named barriers  to success  as the  level of                                                               
risk of COVID-19 at the beginning  of the year that may constrain                                                               
the district's  on-site efforts; the  level of risk to  staff and                                                               
students, some of  whom are high risk; and  the limited resources                                                               
on hand  "to be  able to  quickly redesign  education as  we know                                                               
it."                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
12:39:36 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MS.  LOUGEE referred  to slide  17 [but  covered material  not on                                                               
that slide]  regarding the district's  use of CARES  Act funding,                                                               
which was a total of $588,598 for  fiscal year 2020 (FY 20).  She                                                               
related that  minus the private  school allocation,  the district                                                               
was left  with approximately  $564,938 in  expendable funds.   Of                                                               
that, the district will have less  than $150,000 to carry into FY                                                               
21.   She said, "All of  those costs are currently  encumbered to                                                               
cover the  cost of PPE, sanitation,  online and distance-learning                                                               
tools,  and  additional  staff  time."   She  said  the  district                                                               
expects to incur  $500,000 in additional expenses  to provide for                                                               
space,  materials,  training, sanitization,  devices,  additional                                                               
supplies  and equipment,  and  staffing needs  to  ensure a  safe                                                               
environment  for  all.    She   expressed  appreciation  for  the                                                               
allocation of money  through the CARES Act, but said  it does not                                                               
cover everything.   She said the shortage of  money is compounded                                                               
by Governor  Dunleavy's veto  of the  supplemental appropriation.                                                               
She emphasized that the district  must have additional resources.                                                               
She thanked the  local borough assembly and  mayor for supporting                                                               
the district with  an allocation of $258,100  in additional CARES                                                               
Act funds.   She said schools provide students  and the community                                                               
with  more than  reading, writing,  and math,  and she  asked the                                                               
committee for its continued consideration  for the needs of KBGSD                                                               
in  making  it  through  this   challenge  and  creating  a  more                                                               
effective education system for all students.                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
12:42:35 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  DRUMMOND asked  for  more  details regarding  the                                                               
private school support subtracted from the CARES Act allocation.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS. LOUGEE said  she would have to get back  to Co-Chair Drummond                                                               
with details.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
12:43:14 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
JOHN  O'BRIEN,  Ph.D.,  Superintendent, Kenai  Peninsula  Borough                                                               
School District  (KPBSD), directed attention  to slide 29  of the                                                               
current  PowerPoint  and said  he  would  discuss the  district's                                                               
Smart Start plan and the  "serious fiscal concerns facing most of                                                               
Alaska's school districts."   He turned to slide 30  and said the                                                               
Smart Start  startup plan was  unanimously approved by  the KPBSD                                                               
Board of  Education on  July 13,  2020.  The  plan will  see many                                                               
revisions throughout  the school year as  new medical information                                                               
is gained  and the science  and situation revolving  the pandemic                                                               
flexes.    He  said  the   first  revision  will  likely  be  the                                                               
requirement  for all  staff members  and older  students to  wear                                                               
face coverings  through all risk  levels, green through red.   He                                                               
stated  that many  of  the same  provisions  discussed by  former                                                               
superintendent speakers are also incorporated in the KPBSD plan.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
12:45:14 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
CLAYTON  HOLLAND,   Assistant  Superintendent,   Kenai  Peninsula                                                               
Borough School  District, stated  that KPBSD has  a comprehensive                                                               
plan and  information that  can be  found on its  web page.   Its                                                               
school work group  consists of 20 core  members, including school                                                               
leaders, health  experts, and  the union  president.   All staff,                                                               
parents, and  students were surveyed  in May and June,  with over                                                               
3,000 responses; a  statewide PTA survey was  reviewed; and there                                                               
has been  consultation with numerous  other district  leaders and                                                               
members of the  community.  He thanked Dr.  Zink and Commissioner                                                               
Johnson for their involvement.  He  said equity is sought for all                                                               
students when  considering a  plan.  He  said KPBSD  comprises 42                                                               
diverse  schools across  a vast  area, and  not everyone  has the                                                               
same access to technology or support  at home.  He emphasized the                                                               
importance  of parent  choice in  the district,  and named  three                                                               
choices:  in-person  learning, five days a  week; remote learning                                                               
at  neighboring schools;  and homeschooling.   He  said there  is                                                               
flexibility to  move between  these choices  as risk  and comfort                                                               
level  changes.   He said  KPBSD also  focuses on  continuity and                                                               
consistency in learning.  He  indicated that students' ability to                                                               
know when they are  going to be at school is  key to their social                                                               
and  emotional  learning.    Mr. Holland  said  the  district  is                                                               
concerned with safety and wellbeing.   Further, he emphasized the                                                               
importance of flexibility as new information becomes available.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
12:49:27 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
DAVE JONES,  Assistant Superintendent for  Instructional Support,                                                               
Kenai Peninsula  Borough School  District, directed  attention to                                                               
slide 31,  which read as follows  [original punctuation provided,                                                               
with some formatting changes]:                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Issue                                                                                                                      
     ?  Neighborhood school  enrollment shift  to our  KPBSD                                                                    
     Connections Homeschool                                                                                                     
        Neighborhood  school  enrollment  loss  to  nonKPBSD                                                                    
     statewide correspondence programs Solutions                                                                                
     ?  Short   term:  FY21  Hold  Harmless   for  declining                                                                    
     enrollment districts                                                                                                       
     ?  Long  term:  FY22  enrollment based  on  prior  year                                                                    
     actual enrollment                                                                                                          
     Decreased funding = reduction  of staff and educational                                                                    
     opportunities                                                                                                              
     What  if:  when  the  COVID19 pandemic  risk  is  over,                                                                    
     possibly  mid-year,  and  students want  to  return  to                                                                    
     KPBSD neighborhood schools                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. JONES  said teachers  and staff are  scheduled to  return for                                                               
in-service  on August  11.   Staffing is  based on  pupil/teacher                                                               
ratios, and salaries and benefits  equal approximately 82 percent                                                               
of the  district's total  expenditure budget.   He said  based on                                                               
last  year's  enrollments, the  district  predicts  it will  have                                                               
8,573  students in  FY 21;  7,763,  or roughly  91 percent,  were                                                               
predicted  to  be in  KPBSD's  neighborhood  schools; 810,  or  9                                                               
percent,  were  predicted to  be  in  the district's  Connections                                                               
Homeschool.   He  said the  concern in  any year  is whether  the                                                               
revenue the  district receives  from "the  October 20  day count"                                                               
will support the expenditures for  which the district has already                                                               
predicted and  to which the district  has made a commitment.   He                                                               
stated, "I believe  this lag in the revenue  determination is the                                                               
one  inherent   weakness  in   the  current   foundation  funding                                                               
formula."  He continued:                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     This year,  the revenue  concerns have  been heightened                                                                    
     by the  volume of calls  we have already  received from                                                                    
     parents  expressing concerns  of having  their children                                                                    
     attend   the   in-person   neighborhood   schools   and                                                                    
     potentially  be exposed  to the  coronavirus.   What we                                                                    
     have been hearing  is parents saying they  are going to                                                                    
     protect their  children by  placing them  in homeschool                                                                    
     correspondence classes  until the  coronavirus concerns                                                                    
     pass, and then return to their neighborhood schools.                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
     At this  time, it would  appear that any  resolution to                                                                    
     the coronavirus  crisis will last until  at least after                                                                    
     the October 20  day count period.  If  students move to                                                                    
     our  KPBSD  Connections  Homeschool  program  from  our                                                                    
     neighborhood school,  it's better than if  they move to                                                                    
     a non-KPBSD statewide program,  but for the Connections                                                                    
     students, we will only receive  90 percent of the [base                                                                    
     student  allocation] (BSA)  value  for those  students,                                                                    
     and  they  will  not  be put  through  the  multipliers                                                                    
     within  the   foundation  formula,  which  will   be  a                                                                    
     significant revenue loss for KPBSD.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     On  the   other  hand,  if  they   choose  a  non-KPBSD                                                                    
     statewide  correspondence program,  we will  receive no                                                                    
     funding for FY  21, but we will be  expected to provide                                                                    
     educational services when those  students return to our                                                                    
     neighborhood  schools  after   the  coronavirus  crisis                                                                    
     resolves.   This  revenue  loss  concern is  especially                                                                    
     alarming,  because  our  current  FY  21  general  fund                                                                    
     budget  deficit  is  expected   to  eliminate  all  our                                                                    
     unassigned fund balance.                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. JONES  said KPBSD would like  to see a hold  harmless revenue                                                               
plan for districts  with declining enrollments, so  that they can                                                               
fund  the  commitments  they  have  made  based  on  pre-pandemic                                                               
enrollments.   For the long  term, he suggested revenue  be based                                                               
on  the   prior  year's  actual  enrollment,   which  would  help                                                               
districts  plan for  declining  enrollments.   He  shared that  a                                                               
similar  funding model  in another  state provides  districts the                                                               
opportunity  to recalculate  support if  they have  an enrollment                                                               
increase of 10 percent or greater.                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
12:54:10 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
SHAWN   ARNOLD,  Superintendent,   Valdez  City   Schools  (VCS);                                                               
President,  Alaska  Superintendents   Association,  said  he  has                                                               
worked  with  all  the  presenters  to  "make  the  best  of  the                                                               
situation" and look out for students.   He said there are no easy                                                               
answers,  but he  emphasized  that [districts]  are  in a  better                                                               
place now  than they  were entering spring  break in  March 2020.                                                               
Mr. Arnold directed  attention to slide 33, which  read [in part]                                                               
as follows [original punctuation provided]:                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Phase Transition Considerations                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
     ? Prevalence in Community                                                                                                  
     ? Average Daily Number of Positive Cases                                                                                   
     ? Daily Hospitalizations                                                                                                   
     ? Number of patients in ICU                                                                                                
     ? Staff/Student Absences                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     Components of Each Phase Include                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
     ? Health and Safety Protocols                                                                                              
     ? Parent and Family Engagement                                                                                             
     ? Wraparound Support and Community Services                                                                                
     ? Transportation                                                                                                           
       ? Trauma Informed Practices/ Social and Emotional                                                                        
     Needs                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     ? Welcome Back Planning                                                                                                    
     ? Connections with Stakeholders                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
MR. ARNOLD  discussed the phases  shown on the righthand  side of                                                               
slide 33,  [phases 1  through 5].   He said part  of the  role of                                                               
educators  and local  leaders  is "to  match  what the  community                                                               
wants," and  he said one of  the requests from the  community was                                                               
"to  set  a definitive  number"  [regarding  risk factors].    He                                                               
explained that in  terms of a Smart Start  framework, VCS's phase                                                               
1 and  2 are  considered low  risk; phase 3  is medium  risk, and                                                               
phase  4  is  high risk.    He  said  the  numbers shown  can  be                                                               
"deceptive."   He explained that  VCS depends  on the input  of a                                                               
variety  of  experts,  including:   local  stakeholders,  medical                                                               
experts,  a phase-in  committee,  local  physicians, and  nurses,                                                               
including  an   infectious  disease  nurse.     Further,  VCS  is                                                               
attempting to contract with an  epidemiologist for advice.  It is                                                               
considering "multiple  ... factors based on  local condition" and                                                               
makes   its    adjustments   within   its   schools    based   on                                                               
recommendation.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MR. ARNOLD said  Valdez has a transient population  of people who                                                               
work  in the  fishing  and  oil industries,  but  "many of  those                                                               
individuals don't interact with any  of the households within our                                                               
community."   He said Valdez has  been lucky to have  had limited                                                               
COVID-19 cases.                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
12:58:27 PM                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
MR. ARNOLD  turned to slide  34, which  shows an overview  of the                                                               
previously mentioned  phases from slide 33.   Instructional leave                                                               
will  be changed  depending  on the  phases.   He  said there  is                                                               
concern  that even  with limited  cases in  Valdez, students  and                                                               
staff  may be  at risk,  and  VCS wants  to give  its support  by                                                               
offering options.   There is  an at-home option  wherein students                                                               
can "check  in live" and teachers  can check in with  students at                                                               
home.  There is also a local homeschool program.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MR. ARNOLD moved on to slide  35, which read as follows [original                                                               
punctuation provided]:                                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
     Considerations and Challenges                                                                                              
                                                                                                                                
     ?  Planning time  and training  for  multiple tiers  of                                                                    
     instruction:                                                                                                               
          ? In-class instruction                                                                                                
          ? Fully virtual                                                                                                       
          ? Hybrid of the two                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
     ? Adequate  supplies and staffing available  to support                                                                    
     healthy hygiene  practices, and to routinely  clean and                                                                    
     disinfect objects and surfaces.                                                                                            
     ?  Support from  local health  officials to  review and                                                                    
     update plans,  and to determine  if or when  to dismiss                                                                    
     schools.                                                                                                                   
     ? Physical,  social, and emotional well-being  of staff                                                                    
     and students.                                                                                                              
     ? Reacclimatizing  students and staff back  to physical                                                                    
     settings, new routines.                                                                                                    
     ? Managing expectations and logistical issues.                                                                             
     ?  Re-entry plan  changes as  more information  becomes                                                                    
     available  and  as   recommendations  and  restrictions                                                                    
     evolve.                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ARNOLD talked  about bringing  teachers back  early and  the                                                               
challenges  of   learning  online   delivery  of  classes.     He                                                               
questioned whether there  is time to adequately train  staff.  He                                                               
described the challenges of finding  products for purchase in the                                                               
state, such  as plexiglass and  various styles of  hand sanitizer                                                               
pumps.   He  said there  is no  local labor  pool for  increasing                                                               
staff needed, for  example, for sanitizing the  schools; some are                                                               
making more on unemployment than  they would be starting with the                                                               
district.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
MR.  ARNOLD  offered  his understanding  that  VCS  is  receiving                                                               
approximately  $170,000 in  CARES Act  funds.   A big  portion of                                                               
that has  been allocated for  a school  nurse.  He  said teachers                                                               
are being asked to make  determinations about whether a child may                                                               
have  signs  of  COVID-19,  and   medical  support  for  that  is                                                               
important.   Regarding  support from  local health  officials, he                                                               
stated,  "We wouldn't  be able  to do  it if  we didn't  have the                                                               
resources available  at our community."   He said he  can imagine                                                               
what a challenge it would be for  any school without a nurse.  He                                                               
talked  about  social  distancing  and  the  need  for  continual                                                               
evolution with time.  He offered to answer questions.                                                                           
                                                                                                                                
1:06:05 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR  DRUMMOND  thanked all  the  presenters.   She  remarked                                                               
there were  more than the  typical amount of people  listening to                                                               
the meeting  telephonically.  She  stated that on July  10, 2020,                                                               
the  American  Academy  of Pediatrics  changed  its  guidance  on                                                               
school opening  from its  previous guidance of  June 29,  and she                                                               
highlighted that  it had  already been two  weeks since  July 10;                                                               
therefore, she predicted there would  continue to be rapid change                                                               
necessitating everyone's attention to  "what's going on out there                                                               
in terms  of information that  is critical  to the health  of our                                                               
children."                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR DRUMMOND read  from an article by  National Public Radio                                                               
(NPR),  entitled "The  Nation's  Pediatricians Walk  Back to  the                                                               
Court for In-Person School," as follows:                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     The previous guidance was  criticized for saying little                                                                    
     about  the   safety  of  educators  and   other  school                                                                    
     personnel.   Friday's statement  ..., co-signed  by the                                                                    
     two  national teacher  unions and  ASA,  ... calls  for                                                                    
     putting educators,  as well  as other  stakeholders, at                                                                    
     the  center of  decision  making.   It emphasized  that                                                                    
     reopening  safely will  take more  money.   We call  on                                                                    
     Congress and the Administration  to provide the federal                                                                    
     resources  needed  to  ensure that  inadequate  funding                                                                    
     does  not stand  in  the way  of  safely educating  and                                                                    
     caring for children in our schools.                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
CO-CHAIR DRUMMOND  said she thinks  the committee has  heard from                                                               
almost all the superintendents that  spoke today that money is an                                                               
issue.  She said she is not  aware of what Congress would do, but                                                               
"we  clearly need  help,"  and  "it's good  to  know what  school                                                               
districts are  doing around  the state in  order to  advocate for                                                               
that additional assistance."                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
1:09:27 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
ADJOURNMENT                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
There being no  further business before the  committee, the House                                                               
Education Standing Committee meeting was adjourned at 1:09 p.m.