High school summer classes reach halfway point, see increased demand


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The pandemic is creating a big demand for summer school opportunities at the high school level in the Sioux Falls School District. Some students are taking classes to catch up while others are trying to work ahead. This year thanks to COVID-19, class are all online.

Soon-to-be Washington senior Riley Nold is getting in some summer school this year.

“You know I was looking at my schedule and I was saying I want to get a gym class in because that’s obviously a requirement but then I also really like the flexibility of it,” Nold said.

Physical Education and Speech used to be in person during the summer but now it’s done remotely. Nold signed up for Team Sports and has been doing daily journals, Zoom meetings twice a week and sending in videos.

“It was actually kind of nice to be able to have this because I want to be able to stay healthy during the summer and be able to get my workouts in but having the class kind of gave us structure to that,” Nold said.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, students taking summer school were able to come to the CTE Academy for testing or to check in, not anymore.

“They would come in for orientation. The would come in with questions. They could come in to their teacher to just have some of that hands on, face-to-face, personal relationship experiences that normally go on in a classroom but this summer it’s been all remote,” Ryswyk said.

Don Ryswyk is the Assistant Principal at the CTE Academy. CTE runs summer school for the local high schools.

“So we’re at the halfway point. We have a lot of students that usually can finish a half credit in a month. We’re kind of at that point where students are deciding if they want to take another class or not,” Ryswyk said.

He says demand has been high this year with 261 students taking 360 classes already. It’s all being done remotely by what Ryswyk calls “creative” teachers.

“Summer school is a great opportunity for kids to work ahead,” Ryswyk said.

Especially for students who may have a lot of time on their hands during the pandemic.

Ryswyk says summer school runs through July. Signup usually takes place from January to June.

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