Elk Point-Jefferson School District move to finalize Return to Learn Plans

Back to School

ELK POINT, S.D. (KCAU) – With summer slowly coming to an end, school districts around Siouxland are finalizing their return to learn plans. That includes the Elk Point-Jefferson school district.

The current state of the return to learn plan at the school district is at tier-one that will be traditional in-person learning for students. They will be highly encouraged to wear masks and follow social distancing guidelines.

“I am excited to get back and I can’t wait for something to be normal again,” said Norah Kastning, a student at Elk Point Jefferson School District.

Norah Kastning is headed into her junior year. However, it’s not going to be a traditional school year for her and her classmates.

“I know they’re not requiring maks right now, but if they tell us to wear a mask, at least I know high school can. I know it will be difficult for elementary and sometimes middle school kids to wear masks,” said Kastning.

However, before the first bell rings on August 24th, teachers like Angela Peirce have a lot of work that still needs to be done.

“I’ve taken out some extra bookcases in my room, put my desk up against the wall. I’ve taken out unnecessary things so we have as much space as possible,” said Peirce, a middle school science and health teacher at Elk Point Jefferson.

Limiting the opportunity for the virus to spread is also on her back to school to-do list.

“I’ve been working on putting together some kits and things that each of my eighth-graders will have their own little bag that they will get on the first day that will have supplies for different labs for the first month probably,” said Peirce.

Throughout the school year, Elk Point Jefferson School District’s Superintendent Derek Barrios said keeping students connected through technology like Google Classroom will be critical.

“When students are in the building and utilize Google Classroom if they have to be quarantine isolated, they can still log on and be in Google Classroom. So there will be lots of different methods of learning happening this year,” said Barrios.

If an outbreak does occur, Barrios said learning online will be a smooth transition for both teachers and students.

“We have different options for a hybrid model. Some students in the building some students out of the building different grade levels and then if cases get too bad, we would be in tier four which is all virtual learning,” said Barrios.

If a family does want to make the decision to go online with their learning this semester, that decision has to be made by the end of the week. The Finalized Return to Learn Plan will be released on August 10th at the next EPJ school board meeting. Click here for the Return to Learn Draft

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