School closure and postponements
March 18, 2020
Governor Kristi Noem has declared a state of emergency, which allows state agencies to accept funding or other resources to treat and stop the spread of COVID-19.
In a press conference on March 13, 2020, the governor announced several other precautions—including statewide school closures. And on March 17 she extended that until March 27.
Edmunds Central School was closed Monday and Tuesday. Their spring break was planned on Wednesday through Friday. There was no pre-school screening Monday.
The Ipswich School is also closed this week. Supertindent Trent Osborne said the staff worked on an educational plan for the week that consists of enrichment or extension activities and allow students to complete their make-up or missing work. “Most, if not all, of the staff spent a good portion of time on campus this weekend preparing items, lessons, and options to be used this week or in the coming weeks if needed,” Osborne said.
The staff is working remotely this week to devise an education plan to be used if the school closure continues past March 22, Osborne said. “At this time, teachers are available via email to answer questions for parents and students. We have scheduled limited times over the next few days to have students clean out their lockers and grab other items while following social distancing protocol,” he said.
Both schools indicated they would be doing deep cleaning while the facilities are closed.
Several school groups had trips planned in March. That have been postponed or cancelled.
The Edmunds Central Science Department was going to send students to the Biosphere II and Saguaro National Park in Arizona next week, but with the virus outbreak, they postponed that to June 9-14 according to teacher Spencer Cody. “We will also be going on a field trip to Yellowstone June 1-5,” he said.
Edmunds Central Student Council members were scheduled to attend the state conference in Sioux Falls. The SDHSAA has canceled the event according to EC Student Council advisor Kristie Spitzer.
The annual Ipswich National Honor Society trip was planned later in March also. NHS advisor Carol Lacher said the trip is postponed until June.
The South Dakota FBLA conference has been cancelled. “We are trying to do all competitive events electronically but with no school not sure what will happen with that. Crazy times right now,” said FBLA advisor Lynette Heitz.
Osborne said, “We are also asking people to protect their community by taking CDC and Dept. of Health safety precautions seriously. We hope that everyone will pull together and make sure that our communities are as safe as we can make them. If everyone does their part we have a much better chance.”
Public universities across South Dakota extended their spring break in an effort to reduce the transmission of the COVID-19 virus. Spring break will be extended through Friday, March 20. Classes will resume in the state’s public universities on Monday, Mar. 23 online only.
The state of South Dakota maintains updated information and guidance on its COVID-19 website at COVID.SD.GOV .
The Class B Girls Basketball tournament was postponed after a day. In addition, all SDHSAA state basketball tournaments for this weekend, along with the Visual Arts competition, are also postponed. The Student Council Convention and all Region music contests for later this month are cancelled. See “Fiddlin’ Around” for more about the postponed events.