A Ketchikan elementary school is seeking stronger COVID-19 precautions than the rest of the district.
Tina Peckham is president of the Tongass School of Arts and Sciences’ Academic Policy Committee. That’s the charter school’s elected body of parents and staff.
At a recent meeting, she says committee members expressed hesitation about a school district program that allows unvaccinated people exposed to COVID-19 to be in the classroom instead of quarantining at home.
“So if someone is known to be a close contact, they could continue to come to school and continue to test negative until there’s a positive or they have symptoms,” Peckham told KRBD Tuesday by phone. “That’s our concern.”
She says giving the Tongass School the ability to implement stricter COVID-19 policies would help the school remain open. She says the school’s main campus has not faced closures or reduced capacity since the pandemic began.
The proposal drafted for Ketchikan’s school board would allow the Tongass School to follow COVID-19 protocols recommended by federal health authorities even if they conflict with Ketchikan’s own district policies.
Ketchikan’s school district administration recommends approving the request.
In other business, Ketchikan’s school board is expected to accept more than $380,000 in federal grant funds for student and teacher laptops.
Some $230,000 would reimburse purchases already made by the district, leaving roughly $150,000 to buy additional computers.
Ketchikan’s school board meets at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the White Cliff Building. Public comment will be heard at the beginning of the meeting. The meeting is live-streamed at the borough’s website and carried on local cable channels.