South Sioux City Schools switching to full-time in-person learning

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SOUTH SIOUX CITY, Neb. (KCAU) – Siouxland students who have spent the first six weeks of the school year learning virtually will soon be back in the classroom.

The South Sioux City Community School District is discontinuing its virtual learning program.

Before school started, parents were offered a choice to have their kids learn virtually or in-person for the first quarter of the school year.

Now, after a ‘progress checkpoint’, the district superintendent tells KCAU it’s time to get everyone back in the classroom.

Superintendent Todd Strom said there were several factors that played into the decision to discontinue virtual learning.

He adds a progress checkpoint involved parents, students, teachers, and administrative staff. Each weighed-in on whether to transition back to in-person learning for grades K-8.

“One of the factors that we looked at at our elementary and our middle school was the student engagement piece and with all the efforts that were putting forth and all the efforts that are going on in the home it’s still very difficult for students to be engaged in a virtual environment. Especially middle schoolers and those in the upper elementary grades,” Strom said.

Strom adds the district is looking at data, like student attendance and perception feedback.

He said that continuing virtual learning puts more than academics at stake.

“We know that the virtual education is not the best format for student learning. That format is having students in-person, in a classroom with all the support and human resources that we can provide, including their teacher and all the support personnel that we have in our district,” Strom said.

Students and staff will transition back to the classroom for the start of the second quarter on October 19.

Flexibility is a term Strom said the district is sticking to. He adds the district will issue progress checkpoints every quarter and continue to monitor positive cases of COVID in its schools.

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