A look at Rapid City Area Schools’ back to school plan

Education

Students all across KELOLAND will notice changes when school starts this fall.

The Rapid City Area Schools District’s plan includes different learning models based on the level of community spread or confirmed COVID-19 cases within the district.

Level one means schools would offer in-person learning four days a week, with Friday being an e-learning day.

At level two, 50 percent of students would be in the classroom for two days, with the other half of students in the classroom the next two days.

Friday would remain an e-learning day for everyone.

All students would learn off-campus at level three.

After a 14-day quarantine, they would return to level two.

School starts for Rapid City Area Schools on September 8th.

Kelli Volk: How soon could families know which tier you’re starting the school year in?
Urban: About two weeks before, that’s when our local health officials feel like they can have a pretty accurate idea of the trends and where they’re going.

The hope is kids can start the school year in the classroom.

“We expect to probably be in at least level two. Depending on what happens with the rally it’s possible we could be in level three, which means that we would start in a remote environment. Certainly, that’s not ideal, and we’re hoping that we are at least at a level two and we can start bringing kids back and they can have the opportunity to meet their teachers before they go off to an e-learning day,” Rapid City Area Schools Community Relations Manager Katy Urban said.

The plan, approved by the school board on Monday, also comes with mask requirements.

“For our students, we’re requiring masks in all classrooms and on the bus, and that’s in level one. In level two we go to mandatory coverings in the hallways and everywhere basically except for recess and at lunch,” Urban said.

The district will try to give kids breaks when six feet of physical distancing is possible.

Urban says the district is trying to be flexible and plan for any scenario.

“The reality is this is fast-moving. It’s changing, and so we are going to have to be flexible and we have always gone in with the idea that we might have to modify it and we’ve told our families that as well,” Urban said.

According to the plan, waivers will be given to people who are unable to wear a mask, but that will require a note from a physician or mental healthcare provider.

There will also be a distance learning option for families.

Click here to read the plan.

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