High school students raise concerns about the end of the school year

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – A week ago, Governor Kristi Noem called for all state schools to close for a week in an attempt to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Earlier this week, next week’s classes were also canceled. With the amount of days lost piling up, so are questions from students on what comes next.

As the district just announced its plans for remote learning, students who are graduating still have some concerns.

Like the sky on a rainy day, questions have been trickling into Lincoln High senior Sam Engebretson’s mind about school.

“If we have school canceled now, will we come back to school afterwards?” Engebretson asked.

He and the rest of his school have already been out for one week to prevent spread of the coronavirus. Costing him time in the classroom leading up to his graduation.

“So, it’s kind of trying to have a realistic outlook where a lot of the stuff I was planning on doing probably won’t happen,” Engebretson said.

While he’s enjoying the time off, he’s concerned about how things will continue.

“Uncharted waters for everybody; this is something we’ve never experienced before,” Guidance Counselor David Myers said.

Myers says teacher have been receiving a lot of emails from students with concerns about the end of the year.

“There’s a lot of questions, especially with seniors. We want them to graduate… and they need that support to get through classes and tough times like this,” Myers said.

E-learning is being used by most school to bring class to home, but Engebretson is apprehensive on how much it could take away.

“I think it’s going to be much, much harder when you don’t have the social aspect of going to school and being able to see your friends but you just sit in your room and do online coursework which lacks any of that positive impact that I think in-class school has,” Engebretson said.

He also wonders what’s to come of ACT and SAT test taking, which may have to be done from home.

“It poses many challenges for college board, which is the company that organizes them, to ensure academic integrity,” Engebretson said.

With all these questions on his mind, he says the hardest change for him won’t be missing that walk down the aisle to get his diploma, but one last walk down the hallway with his friends.

“I miss more of the last week with classmates and, kind of, the last time of being together because after high school stuff will change a lot because people go down different pathways,” Engebretson said.

Myers says they’re hoping to give students some direction by Monday.

“Administration will have a meeting through zoom with our teachers and give them directions for what they can do with their students and how they can relay information to them, homework assignments, and quizzes & tests and things like that,” Myers said.

You can check out our Coronavirus Pandemic page for updates on COVID-19 and it’s affects across KELOLAND.

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