Burke School District implements ‘flex learning’ for this week


BURKE, S.D. (KELO) – According to numbers released by the South Dakota Department of Health on Monday, 116 K-12 schools in the state have one to two active COVID-19 cases. 13 schools are reporting more than three active cases.

The Burke School District is making adjustments this week due to COVID-19.

“We are all virtual this week, and no extracurricular activities this week, and so we are hoping to see what things look like come Thursday and Friday, see what our status is and hopefully we’ll be back in business by Monday,” Burke School District Superintendent, Erik Person said.

Superintendent Erik Person says the district was contacted by the Department of Health about three student cases. Two of the students have recovered and one case is still active.

“We kind of expected that some cases were going to happen and obviously we are concerned, each number represents a person, but we are kind of encouraged by what seems to be a low number by our students,” Person said. “What’s a little more concerning is in regards to our staff numbers and right now we’ve got seven active cases among our staff and that’s, with a small staff, we have about 40 full-time employees, about 22 teachers.”

Additionally, he says it has been difficult to get enough substitutes.

“We’ve got our other staff that have stepped in for those that are sick, we have had some people covering, some lesson planning, posting things and even filling in for those teachers, so our staff has come together to help out quite a bit,” Person said.

He says the district will re-evaluate at the end of the week to determine when the school will be able to get kids back into the classroom.

“Friday seems to be kind of a magical date for us, a lot of our quarantine kids come back out of quarantine after Friday as well as six of those seven positive cases we are expecting could be done by Friday or Monday and be back to recovered status,” Person said.

Person says starting this week families will have the option to select flex learning and learn from home, if they don’t feel comfortable having their kids in school.

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