SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — In one way, this school year is starting just like the rest for the Sioux Falls School District, with a theme. This year, the district is asking the Sioux Falls community to show support by displaying blue ribbons and the word ‘together’ at their homes.
Dr. Jane Stavem, the Sioux Falls School District Superintendent, says the district usually has a large gathering that they’re not able to do this year. She says since they’re not able to do that, the district still wants to create a sense of being together.
“Even if we are apart, we are still together, and we don’t know what the school year looks like, it feels different for everybody. But, we want people to come together as they come to school; as they collectively navigate this with their families, with their friends, with their teachers, and just have that spirit of unity across our community as we try to relaunch education for our children,” Stavem said.
Stavem says a blue ribbon represents excellence across the Sioux Falls school system. She says this display is not just for the students, but for the staff too because this is new for the teachers, as well as the students.
It’s a nerve-wracking and exuberant time, according to Stavem.
“They haven’t been in school since March, and as they anticipate a school year, if you think about from the perspective of a child, large or small, there’s always some level of anxiety and excitement about that first day of school, but there’s a different layer of it with COVID and we all recognize that. So, we want our children to know, first and foremost, that people are celebrating their ability to go back to school,” Stavem said.
By participating in this, Stavem says you’re showing support for everyone who’s apart of the public education system in the Sioux Falls community.
“We’re hoping that people will start posting those pictures, there’s just been a couple but we’re just launching it. So, I hope that people will do that. Take a picture, it might be the chalk drawing in the driveway, it might be in your windows at your home, it might be wearing something, however they want to display that. People can make that choice. We know they’re going to be supportive whether they have something posted on social media or not, but it’s just part of the fun,” Stavem said.
She adds that students and staff will go into the school year with a lot of questions, but she’s certain they can conquer this together.
“As we launch things there is a level of uncertainty, but I know that people are going to come together and they’re going to do whatever they can,” Stavem said.