Rapid City Area high schools and middle schools switch to ‘Level One’ next week

Local News

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — All Rapid City Area Students will be able to attend class starting Monday because Superintendent Lori Simon decided the high schools and middle schools are in a good place to switch from “Level Two” to “Level One”.

Since the elementary schools switched to “Level One” about two weeks ago, Lori Simon says there has been no spikes in COVID-19 cases.

“I just believe that it is time for our secondary schools to also be at level one,” Simon said.

Including students and staff, there are a total of 43 active cases in the Rapid City Area Schools.

“When you look across our state the great majority of the school districts opened at ‘Level One’ and they’ve been able to remain at ‘Level One’, despite the spike in active cases and cases across our state.

“And so that certainly is encouraging and what that tells me is that our safety protocols within our schools are working,” Simon said.

Despite the recent up tick in COVID-19 cases in the state of South Dakota, the Rapid City Area School District had a 28 percent decrease in cases since mid-last week.

Curt Pochardt, the Rapid City Schools Board President, says the goal was always to get students back into the classrooms and to educate as safely as possible.

“On March 13th we decided to shut everything down and from that point on we wanted to get personnel back in the building, the staff and the students,” Pochardt said.

Pochardt believes the decision to move all secondary schools to “Level One” was the right one.

“It’s not an easy call, there haven’t been easy decisions from day one. They’ve all been difficult decisions but we’re doing the best we can,” Pochardt said.

The Rapid City Area Schools Superintendent says there are several health precautions students and staff will be continuing, such as: social distancing, wearing masks, and extra sanitizing.

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