The Dell Rapids School Board will hold a discussion on the “Return to Safe Learning” Plan during their next regular meeting on Monday, August 9th. In the meantime, the draft version of the plan has been released to parents and the public prior to the meeting in hopes of clarifying any questions.
The plan for the 2021-2022 school year is much different than the plan from last school year. One of the big differences is face masks will be recommended, but not required. Dell Rapids Superintendent Dr. Summer Schultz sat down with Big Sioux Media and discussed some of the changes to this year’s plan.
“We learned that the masks when worn properly, and specific masks, are very effective in mitigating the spread of Covid-19. That coupled with the availability of a vaccine right now, we really feel that we can put the decision for both of those things into the parent’s hands and into our staff member’s hands,” she said. “We didn’t have the luxury of knowing those things last year and there was no availability of a vaccine should someone want it. We just really think those social and emotional needs of kids wearing that mask all day is tough.” She also said, “I think we’re in a different landscape right now in our community and our state, so we’re going to allow parents to decide the best course of action for their kids going into this school year.”
Another change with this year’s plan is that extracurricular activities will continue with safeguards in place, but activity attendance will be at full capacity instead to start the school year instead of limited attendance. However, Dr. Schultz said that the school does follow state guidelines by the South Dakota High School Activities Association, which means attendance changes could happen if directed by state guidelines.
School lunches and breakfasts will be free to all students for the school year once again. A change to the lunches for this year will be bringing back more options to the the lunchroom like the salad bar.
The full interview with Dr. Schultz can be found in the embedded video.