Gov. Kristi Noem has decided school buildings will not reopen for the 2019-20 school year and the legislature passed two laws waiving certain requirements of school districts.
“It just doesn’t make sense to bring our kids back into our school buildings this year,” Gov. Kristi Noem said during a press conference last week.
The announcement comes after a previous announcement schools would be closed until May 1 and the passing of two bills that waived certain requirements related to school districts.
On a 66-0 vote in the House and a 35-0 vote in the Senate, Senate Bill 188, which accounts for educational opportunities provided to students during a state of emergency, was passed by the legislature.
The bill specifically waives the minimum hours requirement for the school in situations where the President or Governor has declared a state of emergency and directs school districts to provide a listing of educational opportunities provided to students during the time of a school closure to the S.D. Department of Education, who would then consider the nature and scope of opportunities provided during the next accreditation cycle.
“Under the new law, ASBSD suggests school districts continue to adhere to the school calendar they adopted prior to the outbreak of the Coronavirus,” ASBSD Executive Director Wade Pogany said.
The bill waives certain requirements for accredited schools during the time of the extended school closure for the 2019-20 school year, mainly relief is from statutes related to state assessment or rely on delivery of the assessment and impact the state accountability system, as well as requirements related to holding specific drills.
“While the school year within the school building is over, districts should continue to do just as they have and provide the best possible education for their students for the remainder of the school year,” Pogany said.
“These trying times have proven the resolve of teachers, administrators and school boards and they should be proud of and maintain the great work they are doing.”
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