S.F. school official says many factors will determine shifts in instruction models

KELOLAND.com Original

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The Sioux Falls School District won’t use just one piece of information to determine how students will be taught during this upcoming school year, said district assistant superintendent Dr. Jamie Nold said.

“We need to take all things into consideration,” Nold said.

The Sioux Falls District’s draft Return to Learn plan for school during the coronavirus pandemic includes a traditional learning plan of in-person instruction, a hybrid plan which includes models for in-school learning and remote learning. The district also has a virtual academy for the school year, which will not be changed from online learning.

Nold said the district will examine several factors before any specific school or the district overall moves from in-person instruction to another option. That includes the COVID-19 case situation in the Sioux Falls area, the school district, the absentee rate of staff and students and other factors.

“There is not just one (factor)…,” Nold said.

Nold said decisions on moving from in-person instruction could mean that one school moves to a hybrid plan while others stay with in-person instruction.

The school district released its draft Ready to Learn plan on July 29. The plan is still subject to revisions and school board approval.

The school district’s release of its plan comes after a July 27 news conference in which Gov. Kristi Noem said she would not require students to wear face coverings in school. Noem also said she would not encourage districts to establish thresholds that would determine closing schools.

South Dakota Department of Health officials said in a July 30 news briefing that the department would not be establishing threshold guidelines for schools but would be working closely with school districts on back to school decisions.

Nold said face coverings are an important part of the return to school and students and staff will be encouraged to wear them.

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