SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Sioux Falls students are getting ready to return to the classroom next week, but the district is still dealing with last year’s shutdown due to COVID-19.
When classrooms went to remote learning from home, the district says hundreds of students never connected with their teachers during the last quarter.
Now it says those students will be playing catch up this year.
When the hallways went dark in Sioux Falls schools last March, because of COVID-19, students were sent home to learn online, but some were MIA: Missing In Action.
“We had 3% of our students who weren’t engaged,” assistant superintendent Teresa Boysen said.
That’s 700 students throughout the district who never made contact with their teachers the last quarter.
The district says it tried reaching out to them daily, but for various reasons, never connected with them.
“Phone numbers, emails, addresses changed, all of those things, sometimes some of those families went to live with someone else; a grandparent or somebody in a different town, so they could take care of them, while their parents continued to work,” Boysen said.
Assistant superintendent Teresa Boysen says some students have already caught up with their school work.
“It started in late May with our summer recovery in our high schools, which we run every summer after the end of the year, credit recovery, summer school to help students maintain those credits that they need for graduation 22 credits,” Boysen said.
The middle and elementary schools also have programs in place to help.
In the meantime, the district has been busy updating contact information, plus it has a plan in place, just in case students have to go back to remote learning again this year.
“Teachers will work with the students to take their devices home, practice getting connected and this is what we have to do incase we have to jump out,” Boysen said.
The one thing the district is asking families to do is to make sure their students are registered; especially kindergarten students, so they are ready to go back to school next Thursday.