Dr. Summer Schultz, the Dell Rapids School District Superintendent, along with a “Return to Learn” committee and her administrative team are helping make plans for three different scenarios to the starts of the 2020-2021 school year.
“We’re planning three different re-entries. We’re classifying different categories of our school day, say operations, staff, attendance, calendar, busing, food service, cafeteria. We’re creating different levels for each of those categories. We know that even if we were fortunate enough to start school at a real low restrictive category, we call that a level one, meaning it’s as back to normal as we can get for any child who can. We also know that in a moment’s time, or with a quick exposure burst in our community with community spread, we could have to go from a level one of less restrictive to a level three of virtual depending on just how our community moves through this transition time. So we are creating options for all three levels,” said Dr. Schultz.
She mentioned that the plan right now is to hopefully bring kids to the school in a normal setting. However, she mentioned there are some guidelines that will have to be followed from the Center of Disease Control (CDC).
The level two portion is a hybrid of level one and three. Staff is going to be embedding a virtual component of learning for this coming fall.
“We also know that in every classroom, we have to embed a virtual component, because either we will have those medically fragile students who need to be at home and receive their instruction, or worst-case scenario is we have another virtual instruction for everyone, and we need to plan for some where in between all of that, knowing we could switch back and forth. So we have been doing some research on what that looks like, some devices that maybe can help kids who are receiving instructions at home be more part of a classroom setting. We’ve done a lot of work, and this committee will try to kind of fine tune that, bring it all in, and help me communicate it to the public once we get a little farther down the road,” said Schultz.
With all of the planning for the different scenarios for the start of the new school, Dr. Schultz at this time didn’t anticipate any major changes to the 2020-2021 school calendar that has already been approved. However, she did mention that if circumstances change as they did in the spring, the calendar could also change.