The other half of Rapid City students experience first day in school

Local News

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — Rapid City Area Schools officially opened their doors to students on Tuesday. But only half of the student capacity is allowed due to COVID-19. For the other 50-percent of students, today is their first day.

Nicholas Hobson just dropped his 3rd grade son, August, off at General Beadle Elementary for the first time in six months.

“Oh yeah, he’s excited, he loves school, he loves being able to learn new things,” Hobson said.

However, Hobson knows this school year will look different.

“His class isn’t as big, so not as many people to be in a classroom with to be able to learn with but hopefully he can still learn the same way if it was a full class,” Hobson said.

Hobson feels the school district is doing the best it can to keep students safe and healthy.

“I’m just happy to be able to get him in school and learning again,” Hobson said.

“There are all kinds of things, from health screening to masking. And is it a perfect plan? I don’t know, time will tell, but we are doing the best we can and I think there’s a lot of reason to feel safe in school,” Urban said.

Because the Rapid City School Board decided to start in a Level Two procedure, that means: two days a week, students A through K will attend class face-to-face while students L through Z attend online. Then, they switch. On Fridays, all students will be online learning.

Katy Urban, Communications Manager for Rapid City Area Schools, says the levels are fluid as the district watches the number of active COVID-19 cases in the area.

“Our goal is to get everybody back to class all the time but we want to do it safely and so we don’t want to rush anything because if we do that we may not be in school at all,” Urban said.

Urban says teachers and staff are ecstatic to have kids back in classrooms today.

“And it’s nice to have our halls bustling once again,” Urban said.

Back to school plan for Rapid City Area Schools.

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