Delta Elementary and Delta Junior and Senior High Schools opened last week to an excited group of students that seemed to be looking forward to a more normal school year. Since the spring of 2020, schools have operated under the cloud of the coronavirus pandemic, with the state ordering schools closed during the end of the 2019-20 school year.

The 2020-21 year was more normal with mitigation strategies in place to limit contact between students and between others in the schools. The year was not without challenges as three spikes in positive coronavirus cases hit the community during the school year causing staffing challenges within the schools.

Although there was no large outbreak in the schools, schools were forced to reduce or discontinue in building learning as a precaution when individuals associated with the schools became infected with the virus during a portion of the school year. As teachers were forced to quarantine and the availability of substitute teachers was limited there was not sufficient staff to keep the schools open and practice good social distancing district leaders said at the time.

The district has taken a position of stressing the need for in classroom learning and student activities and started the year with no restrictions in place, but the district does continue to have some mitigation activities taking place.

While other areas of the state have seen a sharp increase in positive coronavirus tests as the beginning of the school year approached, the Delta Junction area has only seen two cases thus far in August according to the state’s coronavirus dashboard. As long as local cases remain low, the schools should continue to operate at near normal status. The district is continually monitoring positive test numbers to see if any changes need to be made.

Extracurricular activities may be limited as restrictions are in place in other areas of the state and cases increase, but no activities have been cancelled at this point.

Michael Paschall is the publisher of the Delta Wind and covers general news topics. He can be reached at news@deltawindonline.com.