Rapid City Area Schools on keeping students engaged
RAPID CITY, S.D. — Rapid City Area Schools will be closed through May 1st, but what does that mean for students, and seniors in particular? Well, RCAS is working to minimize the negative effects of coronavirus on learning. From providing resources, to expanding distance learning, RCAS is coming up with creative ways to keep students engaged. While some students may enjoying working from home, seniors and parents of seniors have concerns of their own. Katy Urban, the community relations manager for RCAS said,
“Seniors are on our minds, we feel terrible. This is not the way that your senior year in high school is supposed to end, and we want these kids to have all of those final experiences. Unfortunately, what’s going on in the world, we just can’t control that, and it’s not safe at this point to do so. So we have canceled our prom.”
Aside from the typical coming of age rituals, seniors want to know whether or not they will graduate. The South Dakota Department of Education has decided if schools make a good faith effort to educate for the remainder of the quarantine, students will not be affected, and can move on to the next grade and receive diplomas. At this point, there is still uncertainty as to whether or not seniors will have a formal commencement. In the meantime, teachers are working their hardest to make distance learning beneficial for students of all learning abilities. Urban said,
“We actually sent out some guidelines to our teachers that gives them some ideas and some criteria to help kids, and really what that looks like is being available during the school day, having check ins with kids, we have zoom accounts for our teachers, so they’re sending those links to kids so they can have those weekly check-in times. Really just trying to think outside the box to make sure that kids get what they’re needing to learn the content.”
Knowing not every student has the equipment to work online from home, laptops are being provided to any student without access to computers or devices for work. There is no criteria, families are only asked to reach out to schools and will be provided with the necessary equipment. Along with announcements made by RCAS, they will be continuing the free meal program for students, but are urging parents to stay inside vehicles to decrease contact. You can learn more at the RCAS Facebook page.