Savoonga School Reopened to In-Person Learning After Weeks of Being in the “RED”

Young children sitting in a circle in a classroom

Students in Savoonga returned to Hogarth Kingeekuk Sr. Memorial School in-person Monday after several weeks of being in the “RED” zone.

Savoonga’s Principal Gaetano Brancaleone expressed his excitement at having Huskies back at school.

“You know every second that we have with the kids is extremely valuable, especially instructionally. There’s been a lot of challenges the last half year with COVID-19 and the kind of limits that it places on us, so we’re definitely super excited to have kids back in the building.”

– Principal Brancaleone

According to the school operational status tracker on BSSD’s website, the Savoonga school’s transition out of a “High Risk” or “RED” status indicates that community transmission in the village is minimal to moderate. Presently, there are zero student or community positive cases in Savoonga.

For the first week back, the Savoonga school is operating under the “YELLOW” status, which means students are split into A and B groups.

Group A students go to school on Monday and Tuesday, while Group B attends school on Wednesday and Thursday. No students report to school on Friday for in-person instruction.

Parent/Teacher conferences will be held that day for this week only. Before classes begin at 9:00AM, the Savoonga school opens at 8:30AM for COVID-19 screening and breakfast. The school day concludes at 1:30PM.

Next week, however, Principal Brancaleone says the Savoonga school plans to move to “GREEN” status.

“So it will just be one week of “YELLOW.” That’s just kind of easing back into that full swing of things, so we’ll be “GREEN” next week.”

– Principal Brancaleone

In addition to wearing masks, Hogarth Kingeekuk Sr. Memorial continues to adhere to the following safety precautions: temperature screenings twice daily, social distancing, handwashing, and extensive cleaning and sanitizing.

Image at top: Students in class at Hogarth Kingeekuk Sr. Memorial School in Savoonga (Photo from Savoonga school staff, used with permission, 2020).