Ketchikan High School. (KRBD file photo)

Ketchikan’s school board is set to consider whether to extend its partial closure of secondary schools on Wednesday.

Most Ketchikan middle and high school students have been learning in a combination of in-class and virtual settings since early this month. Ketchikan’s emergency operations center raised the local pandemic risk level to “high” on Feb. 4, and the board has voted weekly to keep the schools partially closed.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the local risk level remains high. That means local pandemic response officials continue to recommend that the district’s middle and high schools remain at half-capacity.

At the board’s last meeting, two school board members, including board president Kim Hodne, voted to bring students back full-time. That was despite the recommendations of pandemic response officials and the acting superintendent to continue scaled back in-person learning.

While school capacity is not listed as a voting item on the meeting’s agenda, Hodne told KRBD that board members would offer their opinions on whether to bring the schools back to full capacity after the school board received an update from emergency officials. Hodne clarified late Monday that the board would not hold a formal vote on the matter.

As of now, secondary students are slated to return to full-capacity classrooms on Monday.

In other business, the board is scheduled to hear ways to improve graduation rates. A presentation from a group that includes principals and other district officials recommends targeted interventions to prevent students from falling behind during the pandemic.

Other recommendations include expanding the resources available for homeschool students as enrollment grows. The district’s Fast Track homeschool saw its four-year graduation rate drop by more than half last school year.

Ketchikan’s school board meets virtually at 6 p.m. Wednesday. Members of the public have a chance to weigh in at the beginning of the meeting, but they must sign up in advance by emailing or calling the school board clerk at 247-2142 by a 1 p.m. Wednesday deadline. The meeting is broadcast on local cable channels and live-streamed at the borough’s website.

Correction: An earlier version of this story cited comments from school board President Kim Hodne saying the board would vote on whether to extend the partial closure. After this story was published, Hodne clarified that the board would informally express their opinion, but would not vote.