RCAS to discuss mask mandate, cancellation of COVID-19 notifications

The Rapid City Area School Board will introduce the two items at the district's next meeting on Tuesday, September 7.

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Two actions, a revision and a resolution, by members of to the Rapid City Area Schools Board of Education will be introduced into its Back To School plan for the district’s next meeting on Tuesday, September 7.

The revision would eliminate notifications from the school to families and staff members about positive COVID-19 cases in the school district instead relying on the South Dakota Department of Health contact tracing.

Currently, the district gives notifications to families, like Amanda Hill and her daughter, who tested positive this week. They say it helped them know of a possible problem.

“Over the weekend we were notified via phone that a teacher had tested positive at Wilson (Elementary) and that was really helpful just to know,” Hill said.

The school district faces a challenge because while many parents support transparency but many others place higher values on privacy.

The parents who were willing to speak to NewsCenter1 favor notification.

“We need facts, we need transparency and we need to know exactly what is going on at all times,” said James Preston, an RCAS Parent. “We have the right as parents as taxpayers and as members of this community to know that information.”

As for the resolution, RCAS Board Members Clay Colombe of Area 5 and Amy Policky 0f Area 6, want to implement a two-week mask mandate as cases rise in the state and district.

“We wanted to take more steps to you know help you know, prevent obviously the spread and transmission of COVID throughout the school, but you know really looking again, it’s looking out for the safety of our of the students and the staff,” Colombe said.

NewsCenter1 has reached out to every member of the school board several times this week, but has only received one reply from Colombe.

Categories: Coronavirus, Local News, South Dakota News