Students return to in-person learning in Burke School District


BURKE, S.D. (KELO) – Students in the Burke School District are back in the classroom. About two weeks ago, the district decided to implement ‘flex learning’ due to cases of COVID-19, particularly a high number of positive cases among staff.

Students returned to in-person learning on September 21st after doing flex learning for about a week.

“That week off really helped take some of the pressure off there,” Burke School District superintendent, Erik Person said. “We were one of the first schools to really get hit with a large case count, it was primarily among our staff, a few student cases, and I just, I feel blessed that we are able to work through that and come out the other side looking pretty good.”

He says even though they are back to in-person learning, families now have the option to continue flex learning from home.

“We’ve got 34 students taking advantage of that opportunity and that represents about 15% of our student population,” Person said.

That has allowed for more spacing in some classrooms.

“It helps to take some of the pressure off of some of our more crowded classes, when we have even just a few kids choosing that option, really allows us to space kids out a little more,” Person said.

He says the district is in a good place, but that can change at any time.

“We went through all last week with no new positive cases among students or staff and so the few people we had that were sick are recovering and so right now we are sitting at students and staff no active, positive cases,” Person said. “That’s not to say we can’t get another wave, we are still at substantial community spread, as far as active cases in the school we are sitting pretty good right now.”

Person says there is a small handful of kids that are in quarantine right now. He says those close contacts came from other places in the community rather than through the school district.

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