The health and safety of our students and instructors are of utmost importance to the Alaska Avalanche School. We continue to monitor state and local health guidelines and are planning to adapt to meet evolving safety standards. AAS will operate using known best practices that support vaccination, physical distancing, strong hygiene, uncontaminated surfaces, reduced physical points of contact between all persons, and personal protective equipment (PPE) when physical distancing is not an option. People who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 as defined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) should carefully consider, in conjunction with their health care provider, whether to attend an avalanche course at this time.
AAS will make efforts, through a variety of approaches, to decrease the probability of transmission of COVID-19 during our courses. Adaptations such as classroom size, class size, online/remote learning, and PPE will be used in various combinations to adjust to current level of community transmission or to adhere to state and local health regulations. Our school retains the right to move or cancel courses as it adapts to COVID-19.
We have adapted our operating procedures to include updated admissions documents, a modified cancellation policy, and a self-declaration of health form that follows best practices for safe COVID-19 management.
We are planning for the upcoming avalanche education season with both traditional and blended delivery of our coursework, adapting as necessary to meet current health regulations.
We will require all students who have been out of the country or state to follow state/federal travel mandates. Students and instructors should not attend a course if they have been in close contact with someone who is showing symptoms of COVID-19 within 7 days prior to the course start date. Students and instructors should not attend a course if they have any COVID-19 symptoms.
A safety plan will be developed for each course to ensure student and instructor safety.
Being vaccinated is one of the best ways to reduce Covid transmission and avoid severe illness. We consider this just as important as having an avalanche transceiver in avalanche terrain.
Personal Protective Equipment
Students must arrive for our classes with a filtered mask for both indoor lessons and outdoor fieldwork. Mask usage is an integral part of our risk reduction strategy. If you are unable to tolerate wearing a mask for up to four hours at a time you should delay your attendance until your condition changes or the requirement is removed.
Symptoms on Course
Students who present symptoms associated with COVID-19 while on the course will be removed from the course environment at the sole discretion of AAS staff. Symptomatic students will be unable to return to class once removed and will be issued at 50% tuition refund. It is the responsibility of the student to contact the office on the next business day. The continuation of the course for the remaining instructors and students will be assessed on a case by case basis.
All participants are expected to participate fully in this strategy.
If you have any of the following, you should not attend class:
We will provide the resources to practice heightened classroom hygiene. You will be expected to:
Personal Protective Equipment
We will provide some personal protective equipment for our staff including masks, face shields, gloves and cleaning supplies. You will be expected to:
When feasible, physical distancing will be practiced. You will be expected to:
We believe in the value of training people to help others and in supporting the best public health practices. You will be expected to:
Will my AAS course be safe from coronavirus?
Contracting COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), is a new risk for everyone and, like many other risks, cannot be eliminated. Our operations have been updated, developed, and implemented to reduce exposure to COVID-19 and to detect signs of illness. For those who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 as defined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), please carefully consider, in conjunction with your healthcare provider, whether to attend an AAS course at this time.
Am I required to follow the stated practices?
Yes, all students and instructors are expected to adhere to the above practices and refusal to comply is grounds for dismissal from a course. These practices are designed to reduce the risk of illness for all participants and demonstrate a commitment to community safety.
What if I have a mask exemption card or letter?
Mask usage is an integral part of our risk reduction strategy. If you are unable to tolerate wearing a mask for up to four hours at a time you should delay your attendance until your condition changes or the requirement is removed.
Am I required to get a COVID-19 test prior to my course?
Testing is encouraged but not required prior to participation in an AAS course.
Have you made any updates to the paperwork I need to be aware of?
We have updated many of our admissions documents to reflect updates to our policies and now ask students to acknowledge risks associated with in-person learning at this time:
What should I be aware of while traveling to my course?
We request that you follow Alaska state travel mandates and take additional steps to limit your exposure for 7 days prior to and while traveling to your course. This includes practicing physical (social) distancing, wearing a mask or face covering when in public or when physical distancing is not possible, frequent hand washing, and monitoring your health for symptoms of COVID-19.
What happens if I get sick before my course?
Do not travel to your AAS course if you have COVID-19 symptoms (cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell), have in the past 7 days been in close contact with someone suspected or confirmed as having COVID-19, or you are confirmed or suspected as having COVID-19 in the past 7 days. We will work with you to transfer your enrollment to a later course or provide a partial refund.
What happens if I get sick during my course?
If you become ill during your course or your instructor asks you not to attend class based on screening, you should seek medical advice. Based on the medical advice you receive you may or may not be able to continue with your course. AAS will evaluate each situation and work with you to issue a partial refund or to assist you in finishing your course at a later time.
What happens if a student tests positive for COVID-19 during my course?
If a student tests positive for COVID-19 during your course, AAS will work directly with the public health authority to assure all participants receive appropriate guidance and medical advice. If AAS cancels the remainder of the course, we will work with students to issue tuition refunds or to assist them in finishing their course at a later time. AAS is not responsible for expenses related to a positive diagnosis on a course.
Will AAS cancel my course?
AAS reserves the right to cancel any course based on changing information or restrictions that affect our ability to operate at a given location. We will notify students as soon as possible if this occurs.
What if I have more questions?
Please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org, (937) 265-0061- our office “937” google voice number.