Sioux Falls School District looking ahead to next fall


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The Sioux Falls public schools are set to celebrate this year’s seniors with virtual graduation ceremonies on Sunday, but administrators are already looking ahead to fall.

Sioux Falls School District Superintendent Brian Maher says remote learning has been a success, but he still sees room for improvement.

“If we would be in August, and it would be the same situation, if we didn’t do it better I think it’d be a shame on us,” Maher said.

No one can predict what will happen with the pandemic, so the district is planning ahead. Maher says they want to be ready for any situation.

“Will it be a remote learning environment like we’re in right now? Will we be back to face-to-face learning like we were in January and February, or will it be some hybrid in between those two?,” Maher said.

There are currently four teams examining those options.

“One based on curriculum, instructional design and delivery, one based on finances, what will this different way of teaching cost, one based on communications, how do we let students, parents, and staff know what we’re up to, and one based on administrative services,” Maher said.

As the school district weighs its options, Maher is set to step down as Superintendent on June 30th, making way for Dr. Jane Stavem.

“She officially starts July 1st, but I promise you Dr. Stavem has already been involved, so while July 1st is the official date, the unofficial date was several weeks ago,” Maher said.

Maher isn’t sure what the future holds, but is confident in the process.

“I think when August rolls around we’ll be in a really good spot, but if you ask me today what that’s going to look like, I couldn’t tell you, but I can tell you I think we have an excellent planning process that is in motion,” Maher said.

Sunday’s virtual graduation ceremonies for the Sioux Falls public schools include Lincoln at 1 p.m., Roosevelt at 4 p.m., and Washington at 7 p.m. The events are available through YouTube and Facebook.

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