RCAS administration looks to implement some fall COVID-19 guidelines, School Board skeptical

Published: Aug. 10, 2021 at 6:42 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - The start of the fall semester for Rapid City Area Schools is approaching, and with COVID-19 still on the radar, especially with the rise of the Delta Variant, parents should have received an e-mail detailing the proposed guidelines for the upcoming semester.

However, the School Board expressed opposition to these guidelines at Monday nights board meeting.

The district’s administration is proposing the return to a five day week of in-person classes with no mask mandate and normal visitor protocol, but with an enhanced hygiene protocol.

They say there will be no large scale distance learning program available this year. What they’d like to see if there is a spike in COVID-19 cases, for masks to be highly recommended.

If things turn worse, they’d like for masks to be required.

They’re proposing that a notification will be sent to staff and parents if a child in their building is confirmed to have the virus.

If a student or staff member who is not vaccinated is determined to be a close contact, they’ll be required to quarantine for seven days.

Those vaccinated would not be required to quarantine.

They say that students and staff would be allowed to return on the eighth day, provided they have a negative test result from the fifth, sixth or seventh day.

RCAS Public Information Manager, Katy Urban, says, ”We’re going to do what we can to keep our staff and students safe knowing that there is still a pandemic. Certainly, we want more than than anyone to get back to a normal school year, so we’re going to do that as much as we can. But, we are going to still try and put safety measures in place, because we think that’s the right thing to do. Ultimately, what those look like -- that could change when it’s in front of the board and they have an opportunity to vote on it.”

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