BETHEL, Alaska (AP) — Students at an Alaska school in a coastal community northwest of Bethel have returned to class after an extended winter break due to a pipe that burst in the building.

Hooper Bay School resumed classes Feb. 3 after a delayed spring semester following the damage in December, KYUK-AM reported Monday.

Principal David Harris said the students have been out of classes for a month and a half.

“The kids are excited to be here, we’re excited to have them back,” Harris said. “The parents are probably excited they’re here, too.”

The break was long enough that staff and students needed what Harris called “gentle reminders” to get back into the school routine.

“Going over classrooms rules, bathroom procedures, raise your hand to ask a question,” Harris said.


During the extended break, staff tore out rotten drywall and soaked carpet caused by the water that flooded the building. They also completed other basic repairs to reopen the school.

The work took a week longer than planned and construction will continue during the summer, Harris said.

Students missed 18 days of class and Harris said he is crafting a schedule to make up the time.

“We would have extended days, we’ll probably have a couple different Saturday sessions, and we would end our school year as we planned to on May 14,” he said.

The school needs to meet the deadline for some students to be home for subsistence activities with families. Teachers have already bought plane tickets to leave town for the summer.