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RCAS school board to discuss adjusting COVID levels for activities

Toward the end of the Fall semester, the board created two separate committees tasked with reevaluating those levels. One committee, geared toward activities - like band concerts and sporting events - is recommending specific changes, including continuing events without an audience.
Toward the end of the Fall semester, the board created two separate committees tasked with...
Toward the end of the Fall semester, the board created two separate committees tasked with reevaluating those levels. One committee, geared toward activities - like band concerts and sporting events - is recommending specific changes, including continuing events without an audience.(Miranda O'Bryan)
Published: Dec. 29, 2020 at 5:04 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - As the pandemic continues, Rapid City Area Schools board of education is discussing a new set of criteria for the Spring semester, criteria which has some parents hopeful about after-school activities.

Before the start of the 2020-2021 school year, the board of education created a three-level system designed to keep students and staff safe during the pandemic.

Toward the end of the Fall semester, the board created two separate committees tasked with reevaluating those levels.

“We’re trying to adjust to the circumstances as they are presented to us and that’s really all we can do,” said Curt Pochardt, the RCAS school board president. “We try to plan but sometimes you can’t anticipate what’s going to happen with the virus, we didn’t anticipate, I certainly didn’t anticipate that we’d see levels of active cases in the community over 2000.”

One committee, geared toward activities - like band concerts and sporting events - is recommending specific changes, including continuing events without an audience.

“Even in level three,” said Pochardt. “We can continue with activities, add additional safeguards for the participants, and have no spectators at all.”

An RCAS parent said it was hard to see her daughter worry about sports and hopes the board will vote to make changes.

“Whether it’s drama or basketball, an activity is an activity, and our kids need those because it’s what brings out the best in them, it’s something that they enjoy,” said Jackie Jessop-Rising, an RCAS parent. ”We’d like to see that activities can still go on, our kids can still participate and not have to worry or stress about the idea of their season, their activity being cut short because of a change in the levels at school.”

Pochardt said they’re doing what they can to keep students, staff, and ultimately the community safe. The board will hold a special meeting to vote on the recommendations January 5th.

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