Siouxland schools try to plan for fall semester

Back to School

SIOUXLAND (KCAU) – It’s been a while since Siouxland students set foot in a classroom, and now educators are hard at work planning what the fall semester might look like.

Siouxland school districts are planning for more than one possibility. What the upcoming school year will look like will have everything to do with how the COVID-19 situation shakes out.

“The hardest part about spring semester was not having kids here. We all miss the kids so much, and we worked as hard as we can to try to make it a good learning experience for our students, and still, we know there are many of them who were not able to engage in learning,” said Tracy Heilman, the director of Curriculum at South Sioux City Community Schools.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused the cancellation of in-person school all over the country and right here in Siouxland. Now, educators are gearing up for what’s next.

“We’re going to have the potential for significant gaps and deficiencies and so to plan now for what is going to be moving forward – really really critical. It’s going to be absolutely paramount that we optimize the time available so all kids if there are gaps can get them closed up really quick,” said Jan Hoegh, a South Sioux City Community School consultant.

South Sioux City Community School District has set-up committees to plan for numerous possibilities. That includes virtual learning, delayed start, and dividing the student population in half with each attending classes two days a week.

“Everybody wants to know what is going to happen obviously, but no one has that crystal ball. We can’t predict the future, but we can definitely prepare for what we think it will look like,” said Todd Strom, the South Sioux City School superintendent.

The Sioux City Community School District plans to release it’s back to school plan during next Monday’s school board meeting.

“There are a lot of questions right now about how many students can you fit on a school bus in the times of COVID or how will you work all the students into a classroom or what will you do with virtual instruction versus in-person instruction, online instruction and all of those questions will be answered in the next several weeks but are dealt with in this return to learn plan,” Sioux City Community School District Superintendent Dr. Paul Gausman said.

While both districts say they want to see their students in the classroom this fall, it is still unclear if that will be possible.

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