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Spearfish school board announces COVID plans for the upcoming school year

The plan is split into three categories.
The plan is split into three categories.
The plan is split into three categories.(Miranda O'Bryan)
Published: Aug. 14, 2020 at 6:00 PM MDT
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SPEARFISH, S.D. (KEVN) - The Spearfish school board announced their re-opening plan for the Fall semester. And it’s a plan that not everyone agrees with.

The Spearfish School Board's reopening plan took into account a wide variety of sources, including other schools, CDC guidelines, the Toronto Sick Kids study, and local health officials. The plan is split into three categories, depending on the severity of the pandemic moving forward.

"Category one is all the mitigation strategies, the social distancing, the disinfecting, the contact tracing, the cohorting, and so on. But, it's minus masks, the mandatory masks. Category two has all the same mitigation strategies, but it does require masks at least in grades six through 12, K through 5 are still highly recommenced and then category three is remote learning," said Kirk Easton, Spearfish superintendent.

Unable to appear on camera, many parents reached out to our newsroom about the administration's decision.

"Everybody from the board members to myself have received some level of feedback from community members that are concerned that masks aren't mandated right away," said Easton. "They just need to know that, it may come to fruition that we start in category one, we just don't know yet."

An incoming senior said keeping herself and her fellow classmates safe is the most important goal.

“Me and a few other of my peers, we created a petition on change.org, trying to encourage people to support the mandation of masks in our school, really to ensure that normalcy being instilled and really to protect the safety of our students,” said Samantha Walters, incoming Spearfish High School senior.

"I appreciate students wanting to be heard and have a voice in the conditions that they come back in and so on. I just hope that things are done in a manner where kids don't feel pressured in one way or the other."

Easton said the school board will meet just before the September 8th start date to decide which of the three categories the school year will start in.

Copyright 2020 KEVN. All rights reserved.

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