Rep. Dusty Johnson discusses back to school with Madison School District administrators

Local News

MADISON, S.D. (KELO) – The COVID-19 pandemic is causing the start of school to look a little different for districts across KELOLAND. To get a better idea of what exactly schools are doing, Representative Dusty Johnson stopped by Madison Elementary School Monday.

Preparations are underway at the Madison School District to figure out how to start school safely this year.

At the elementary level there are some protocols in place to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

“There’s a lot of physical protocols that you will see in the building that are going to help us mitigate risk for kids, we have plexiglass on tables, like our lunchroom tables, we have our floors marked to reinforce distance learning, we have our playgrounds divided into four quadrants so we can put classroom cohorts into each quadrant,” Madison elementary school principal, Janel Guse said.

Guse says tables in classrooms have been replaced with individual desks to help with social distancing.

“Alongside that we’ve tried to incorporate some flexible seating so kids still have the opportunity to move and wiggle throughout the day so they are not seated throughout the whole day, so they will work under the desk, at the chair, standing beside the desk,” Guse said.

These are just some of the safety measures Representative Dusty Johnson got to see firsthand during his visit with the district.

“These teachers don’t want to have a political debate, what they want to do is teach kids, they want to help kids grow, and that’s a good reminder for me as I head back to DC later this week in a place where people are going to want to fight hour in and hour out, it’s good that there are people that care about our kids,” Representative Dusty Johnson said.

Information he can take to Washington D.C.

“I believe we are going to make some additional dollars available to schools here in the weeks to come,” Johnson said. “Plexiglass, sanitizer is not free, masks, additional bussing, additional educators, these things do not come for free, we are in a really unique global time, some additional resources are going to give our students a better chance at a successful outcome.”

Guse says they have added hand sanitizer and hand washing stations.

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