Clark school district ready to take on teaching during pandemic

Published: Aug. 18, 2020 at 10:22 PM CDT
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CLARK, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The Clark school district opens it’s doors tomorrow to students for the first day of class, with many hoping for a return to normalcy.

The district, along with most others in South Dakota, is using a three plan approach to the school year; starting classes in person with hybrid and online-only options available should cases of COVID-19 rise.

The district, being split between an elementary school, middle and high school, and three colony schools is planning for scenarios in which classes may need to be switched online overnight.

Luanne Warren, Superintendent of the school district, says that the three plan approach has been helped by state officials, with guidance on how to handle potential cases in classrooms.

“Both the Department of Education and the Department of Health have been extremely informative for us all summer long. Since March, we’ve had many, many, many webinars on directions on what to do.” said Warren

As with any plan, the district plans to make changes where necessary after a few weeks in school. Warren says that teachers working with students on how to use online programs while still having in-person instruction will help classrooms more easily transition between plans.

“Our first two or three weeks of school will be going through procedures, getting kids used to working with Google Classrooms, different formats like that. So if this happens again, it will certainly be a better transition for all of us.”

The district is also working on getting a thermal scanner to take the temperatures of students and staff. But it’s unclear when and where temperatures will be taken, which can affect how the district handles isolating potential cases. In the meantime, the district is working with what they’ve got.

“The unknown, we’re going to deal with it one day at a time. We’re going to do the best we can with what we have, we’re going to make the most of each day that we have with our students and should that be cut short, we’ll shift gears and keep going.” said Warren.

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