Dell Rapids School District

Coronavirus Update Last Updated: 5/1/2020 3:25 PM

April 30, 2020

 Parents/Guardians,

 Governor Kristi Noem has laid out a “Back to Normal Plan”.  This updated perspective has many in our community wondering what changes or considerations will take place at the school district level.  Although our state is encouraged by a more positive trajectory of medical capacity, we are still encouraged to follow CDC guidelines and work around the Executive Order in Minnehaha County. 

All things considered; I don’t believe you’ll notice a big impact on our current instructional plan. Schools can bring individual students back to determine fall placement or to provide specific reinforcement, therefore, we will contact individual parents to determine the feasibility of offered services.  We also have reason to believe summer activities may slowly become a reality.

DRPS End of the Year Plan

There will not be significant changes to our already communicated school plans.  Each building principal has drafted an exit plan and any changes will be communicated to parents and students.     Although full classes of students will not be coming back for instruction, as indicated above, we will identify a select set of students to provide instructional support to.

Haven

Emergency Haven’s last day will be Friday, May 22.  Currently, we plan to open regular summer Haven on June 1.  Unlike most years, programming options may be limited as our goal is to provide the program for students and families under the guidelines from the DOH and CDC.  Please contact Lisa Wilber with questions regarding enrollment options.

Lisa.wilber@k12.sd.us

Drivers Education

We will continue with the current plan for Drivers Education.  A virtual classroom component will be completed by all students, and we will move forward with Behind the Wheel when appropriate.  Additional information can be found in school announcements and on our district Facebook page.

 To register for Driver’s Education, please complete the attached Google form:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeNPgWHS0RpVivYSvK6kyDyexwFbq0NTAcJJUYhC8myspfUKA/viewform

If you have any questions about Driver Education, please contact Craig Jorgensen (craig.jorgensen@k12.sd.us) or Jason Fersdahl (jason.fersdahl@k12.sd.us).

 Lunch

The last day for lunch service will be Friday, May 15.

Thank you again for your patience and cooperation during these unprecedented times. You’ll notice a lot of construction happening at the MS/HS building and I’ll be happy to welcome students back for a fresh start in an improved learning environment.

 

Stay safe and please contact me with any questions.

 

Dr. Summer Schultz  

 

 

April 29th, 2020

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doe7gFJkNO8

 

April 19th, 2020

Dell Rapids Public School will stay closed and E-Learning will continue the remainder of the school year.  Our district calendar won’t be altered although each building will have a unique plan for ending instruction, as well as exchanging personal belongings (lockers/desks) and school materials being utilized at home.   Principals will communicate these plans once they are finalized. 

Dr. Schultz's Coronavirus video update with Big Sioux Media.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Pd3n9o4P3c&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR0vbP25dvZWvr4Pn3afio3Nb4PqyPAzsZZZqnWESa9ukrOPpKHCrwiJD2Q

 

April 5th, 2020

I hope this update finds you healthy and safe at home!  I worry that by press time, some of what I type will be irrelevant or substantially different.  Unpredictable is an understatement, and although a tremendous amount of thought and concern goes into every decision, I am simply up against an opponent that is volatile, unprecedented and deadly.  

As I type this article, I am reminded that today is supposed to be DRHS prom. It’s easy to assume this is a small thing, and our students will adjust accordingly.  I know them, and they will, but I feel awful every time I take something away from them.  Tonight is supposed to be about dressing up, dancing, and making memories with friends.  For now, I’ve also taken away the state basketball tournament and possibly an entire spring activity and performance season.  Had I known the final day of the state wrestling tournament was possibly my last chance this year to look down and support Quarrier student-athletes, I would have stayed a little longer and taken it all in.  

As our community adjusts to a new normal, DRPS teachers and the majority of staff will continue working from home. A limited number of individuals will report to work, although this may continuously decrease in the coming weeks.  We have prioritized specific duties to implement community service through our Grab & Go lunch sites, meal delivery, and Emergency Haven.  As you may have seen, we have filed for waivers, allowing us to feed any child 0-18 at our two distribution sites.  Weekly signups are posted every Sunday and I appreciate a headcount for planning purposes.   

South Dakota’s “Veto Day” provided SB188 and 189. These bills waive requirements surrounding assessment and instructional minutes.  What these bills don’t do, is provide guidance surrounding credits, graduation requirements, or grades. The Department of Education reinforced that schools are still expected to keep students engaged in the educational process.  A state workgroup is being formed to provide guidance surrounding the specific items in flux, therefore we will continue to do the best job we can at educating students in what I now call “emergency remote instruction”.  I use this term because although my staff is tirelessly implementing virtual education opportunities, they haven’t been intentionally trained or provided appropriate planning time for this.  Parents too have been thrown into the roles of instructor and tutor which is adding another layer to an already stressful time. I have never been prouder of this team of teachers and staff.  They continue to surprise me every day with their courageous attempts to think outside the box.

At present time, school will resume May 4, however, I will continue to seek and take guidance from education, health, and governmental agencies.  As mentioned earlier, this situation is rapidly changing and may escalate quickly within our community.  I will do my best to keep stakeholders up to date with the most recent decisions and recommendations related to the Dell Rapids School District. I encourage you to visit our Website and Facebook page often.  These provide frequent updates and I also visit weekly with Matt Larson at Big Sioux Media. 

Please continue to support our local businesses.  These individuals are always supportive of my students, and our sponsorship requests.  They need us now more than ever and I for one am taking advantage of the unique ways they have continued to serve our community.  Stay safe and I look forward to better days ahead!

Dr. Schultz

 

April 1, 2020


Dr. Schultz interview with Big Sioux Media.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHgCFlqGZi0&feature=share&fbclid=IwAR0SRal5uDB2EWLEcCPjhC6w-TXvqqlnGjEtTSOokJjok3BQUqFqIcuBVXk

 

 

March 26, 2020

Dell Rapids Public School will stay closed through May 1, with the intent to open on Monday, May 4.   

 

As expected, our logistical challenges continue to change.  Although we hoped to maintain onsite services longer, moving forward, all special services will take place virtually.  Buildings will be closed to the public; however, each office will be working to assist with parent needs. At this time the high school and elementary offices will be staffed from 8-10 a.m. Should you need assistance outside of these hours, or anytime at the middle school, please email building secretaries directly. 

Eve (HS) Eve.pickard@k12.sd.us 
Connie (MS) Connie.hansen@k12.sd.us
Heidi (Elem) Heidi.adams@k12.sd.us

Activities scheduled between now and May 4th have been canceled.  Unfortunately, this includes prom and all SDHSAA events.  At this time, we’ve not made a decision regarding the graduation ceremony.  Our community is approaching a critical time in its fight against COVID-19 and I hope this decision becomes clearer soon.

Your child has started to participate in virtual learning.  In this unprecedented time, my staff is trying their best to provide a quality education utilizing a platform that wasn’t expected or extensively planned for.  I ask that you offer them your patience and remember the learning curve is high for all involved. 

I have communicated with teachers about our need to listen to feedback and adapt expectations and procedures accordingly.  I have shared a link that you can submit E-Learning questions or concerns to.  Please include your contact information so a district representative can follow up with you directly.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/drelearning

Although many tasks are designed around applications your child is accustomed to, we understand that younger students may require additional assistance especially in the early stages of this initiative.  Each family is affected differently by this situation and we understand that some days, families will simply run out of time or not be able to get everything done. That is 100% OK! 

I want to share a thought from Dr. Lori Simon, Rapid City Superintendent. 

At the end of all of this, your child’s mental health will be more important than their academic skills.  How they felt during this time will stay with them long after the memory of what they did fades. 

Finally, if your family is in need of assistance, I encourage you to call 211 or visit www.dellrapidsrelief.com. This helpline will clarify your need and provide guidance and/or assistance for things such as food delivery, necessities, or prescriptions.  Our counselors are also willing to provide virtual visits or share resources with parents. 

Additional information has been shared through our most recent update aired on Big Sioux Media.  I encourage you to continue checking our website and Facebook pages for information. 

Thank you for your continued support during these difficult times. 

Dr. Summer Schultz

 


 

March 17, 2020

Parents/Guardians,

Upon recommendation from the Governor’s Office, DRPS will be closed March 17-27.  At this time, we intend to open on March 30th, however, the situation could change based on further recommendations. 

Dr. Summer Schulz

 


March 13, 2020

Parents/Guardians,

Upon recommendation from the Governor’s Office, and in conjunction with spring break, DRPS will be closed March 16-20.  At this time, we intend to open on March 23, however, the situation could change based on further recommendations. In the event our closure lasts longer than anticipated, students were sent home with district-issued devices.

Teachers will report next week, and we intend to provide basic, remote learning options for all grade levels on Tuesday and Wednesday.  The lessons and activities are not mandated, rather they will provide a valuable experience for staff, students and parents. Any feedback you can provide our staff will be helpful and this will be a first “test run” for most teachers.

I realize this type of closure makes it difficult for families who depend on the school lunch program.  We will be providing “grab and go” lunches in both the middle (south) and elementary school lobbies on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.  Any student can come between 11:30-12:15 and utilize their traditional form of lunch payment.  If you would benefit from a delivered lunch, this will be an option as well.  A brief survey will be distributed this weekend, allowing us to get an estimated head count and arrange deliveries.

We will continue to provide COVID-19 updates on the district web site and Facebook page. Our Brightarrow notification system is having technical issues, therefore, I may not be able to alert you to new notifications. 

I sincerely thank you for your patience this afternoon.  I wanted to do diligence to the situation, and felt I needed to explore all options prior to deciding. 

I want nothing more than to see all my students back safe and healthy on the 23rd!

Dr. Summer Schultz  

 


March 12,2020

The safety of our students and staff is the highest priority of the Dell Rapids School District. District administration also believes the integrity and fundamental purpose of our buildings should be emphasized and protected during the current COVID-19 epidemic.  Although we cannot eliminate the possibility of exposure, we can adhere to guidance and promote social distancing.  
Effective March 11, 2020 the following will be enacted: 

 

  • The district will suspend all facility use by non-school organizations.
  • Suspension of school facility access including but not limited to:
    • Entering buildings during before and after school transitions
    • Lunch with students
    • Classroom volunteers
  • Haven will continue to operate as normal, however, check-in procedures may be altered.

Any potential school closing (and reopening) due to illness will be determined in consultation with public health officials. While education is important, the health and well being of our students and staff are far more significant. We want to assure you that we are working to determine our options moving forward.

If you have concerns about your child’s health, we ask that you contact your health care provider and/or the South Dakota Department of Health. Avera has also established a 24/7 hotline that can be reached at 1-877-AT-AVERA.

We will continue to provide COVID-19 updates on the district web site and Facebook page. Please check those areas often, as this situation will continue to evolve.  


Effective March 11, 2020 the following will be enacted:

  • The district will suspend all facility use by non-school organizations.
  • Suspension of school facility access including but not limited to:
    • Entering buildings during before and after school transitions
    • Lunch with students
    • Classroom volunteers
  • Haven will continue to operate as normal, however, check-in procedures may be altered.

Any potential school closing (and reopening) due to illness will be determined in consultation with public health officials. While education is important, the health and wellbeing of our students and staff are far more significant. We want to assure you that we are working to determine our options moving forward.

If you have concerns about your child’s health, we ask that you contact your health care provider and/or the South Dakota Department of Health. Avera has also established a 24/7 hotline that can be reached at 1-877-AT-AVERA.

We will continue to provide COVID-19 updates on the district web site and Facebook page. Please check those areas often, as this situation will continue to evolve.  

 

Effective March 11, 2020 the following will be enacted:

  • The district will suspend all facility use by non-school organizations.
  • Suspension of school facility access including but not limited to:
    • Entering buildings during before and after school transitions
    • Lunch with students
    • Classroom volunteers
  • Haven will continue to operate as normal, however, check-in procedures may be altered.

Any potential school closing (and reopening) due to illness will be determined in consultation with public health officials. While education is important, the health and wellbeing of our students and staff are far more significant. We want to assure you that we are working to determine our options moving forward.

If you have concerns about your child’s health, we ask that you contact your health care provider and/or the South Dakota Department of Health. Avera has also established a 24/7 hotline that can be reached at 1-877-AT-AVERA.

We will continue to provide COVID-19 updates on the district web site and Facebook page. Please check those areas often, as this situation will continue to evolve.  

 

 

 

 

 

March 11, 2020

Parents/Guardians,

Last week the district initiated a response to the developing Coronavirus (COVID-19) threat.  Today’s correspondence is intended to apprise you on specific areas that may be of interest. I will continue to provide updates as they develop and encourage you to visit the district web site for helpful resources and updates.

Facility:

  • Cleaning products will be professional-grade and certified to kill the COVID-19 virus. 
  • Spray bottles are being provided to classrooms for occasional, as-needed cleaning.
  • Staff has been notified of the importance of keeping touchpoints and keyboards sanitized often. 
  • Correct handwashing is essential; however, some areas of the district also have hand sanitizer.  Staff has been directed to only use product with at least 60% alcohol. 

Activities:

At this time the district has not prevented students from attending nonessential activities, however, we will refer to guidance from state offices for future decisions. 

E-Learning Feasibility Study:

Each family has been asked to participate in a brief survey surrounding Wi-Fi and home computer use.  This anecdotal data will be help determine our ability to conduct temporary, home-based instruction should the need arise.  If you haven’t responded, please follow the link provided.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/drpselearning

As a district, we are stressing healthy hygiene practices and the simplistic, yet important advice from the Department of Health.

  • Students should stay home when they are sick
  • Cover your cough
  • Practice good hand washing

Our staff has worked diligently formulating a plan to sanitize common touchpoints and high traffic areas. The health and safety of our school community is my top priority, although I’m trying to balance that with a commonsense approach.  Keep in mind we have 1000 students and roughly 200 staff members in attendance each day.  If you have a healthy child that isn’t at a high risk of infection, please understand that others may not be so fortunate.

Finally, if your child is experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19, please do not send him/her to school or Haven.  Medical professionals are encouraging you to call your provider prior to going in as well.  I sincerely thank you for trusting us as we move forward in this process. Please reach out to me if you have specific concerns or questions.

 

Dr. Summer Schultz, Superintendent