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Three RCAS middle schools and one high school move to online learning

Southwest, West, and South Middle Schools as well as Central High School moved to level 3 Wednesday. Joining Stevens High School to make five RCAS schools learning strictly from home.
Southwest, West, and South Middle Schools as well as Central High School moved to level 3...
Southwest, West, and South Middle Schools as well as Central High School moved to level 3 Wednesday. Joining Stevens High School to make five RCAS schools learning strictly from home.(Miranda O'Bryan)
Published: Nov. 5, 2020 at 4:18 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Wednesday, four more Rapid City Area Schools moved to level three, which means students are learning from home for the time being.

Southwest, West, and South Middle Schools as well as Central High School moved to level 3 Wednesday. Joining Stevens High School to make five RCAS schools learning strictly from home.

“Certainly, it’s not ideal, but we are optimistic that our kids, they’ve been preparing for this, our teachers have been preparing for this, it’s always been a possibility," said Katy Urban, RCAS community relations manager. “We aren’t making any long-term plans at this point, but certainly it’s a possibility that we could be out for two weeks or we could be out for a month.”

Urban said the decision to move levels isn’t made lightly but it was necessary.

“We’re looking for that influx," said Urban. "We’re looking for how we’re doing for staffing; do we have a lot of staff out; can we staff that school. We’re looking at hospital capacity, which right now is probably more of an issue than it has ever been and so we want to make sure that we’re not adding to the stress.”

80% of cases in the district are currently at the Middle and High School level, but Urban says elearning once a week has helped this situation.

“Our students know how to get on to their learning management systems, they’ve been doing it for a number of weeks now on those eLearning Fridays," said Urban. “So that will definitely help.”

RCAS administration will make decisions week by week, but Urban says the entire community can help.

“If we want our kids to be back at level one, we all have to do our part," said Urban. “We want kids back in the classroom but in order, to do that, it’s really important that kids are masking, not just in school, but outside of school. That they are keeping their circle smaller, they’re avoiding crowds, all of those things will help slow the spread and in turn, keeps our kids in school.”

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