Douglas, Spearfish, Meade School Districts to have in-person classes next semester
Three districts announce plans going forward
RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Area school districts have decided: School will be back in session next semester.
Last Monday night, Douglas and Spearfish school boards met and made the call. Meade School District voted to have school in person during its July 2 meeting.
Rapid City Area Schools have not decided a start date.
Douglas School District Decision
Projected start date: Aug. 31
Superintendent of the Douglas School District Alan Kerr says that this is a working document, and plans will adjust as needed, once staff and students return on Aug. 31. The plan includes a three-phase plan that depends on whether or not cases of COVID-19 have increased in Pennington County leading up to the start of school. The district also voted to cancel the in-person graduation ceremony for the Douglas class of 2020 that was set to be held on July 26.
While Douglas School District doesn’t know what phase will be used, they do say -- at the very least -- students will be wearing masks when they are bussed to and from school.
“Unless the committee changes it there is no way to social distance on the bus unless we can afford 40 new busses or we change who we are bussing,” Kerr said.
Spearfish School District Decision
Projected start date: Aug. 27
The school district will establish a Safe Start Taskforce comprised of 25 people who have experience in public health, food service, transportation along with parents, staff and teachers.
The school board expressed how each school will have different procedures and rules, according to the Black Hills Pioneer.
“Operations at Mountain View for kindergarten are certainly going to be different than at the high school,” Kirk Easton, superintendent of the Spearfish School District, said.
A 10-page plan has been drafted, it creates categories based on the potential amount of cases:
- Category 1, zero cases in a school building. The schools will actively mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 in the buildings.
- Category 2, isolated cases in a school building. Involves category one mitigation, but is more restrictive and will cancel events, restrict visitors and added stipulations on face masks.
- Category 3, substantial cases in a school building. If cases are sizeable, schools will go to remote learning.
“What people really need to understand though, is we will not make the decision to close, whether by class, or building, or an entire district, in isolation. The Department of Health will help us in making this decision,” Easton said.
Meade School District Decision
Projected start date: Sept. 8
The Meade School Board voted unanimously to push back the start of in-service for teachers from Aug. 25 to Aug. 31, and the start of classes for students and staff from Aug. 31 to Sept. 8 following the Labor Day holiday, as reported by the Black Hills Pioneer.
The district also voted to cancel the in-person graduation ceremony for the Douglas class of 2020 that was set to be held on July 26.
Copyright 2020 KOTA. All rights reserved.