Governor Says Schools Should Stay Closed Until May

Mar 24, 2020

Governor Noem during a previous press conference.

Governor Noem recommends that all k-12 school districts remain closed until early May. She says that course of action offers consistency in the approach to educating South Dakota students during the pandemic. 

The governor says she’s open to reevaluate school closings in May. But until then, schools are closed.

“With a virus that we’re still learning about and still getting information on, we’re going to make sure we’re making good decisions by keeping kids out of the schools and doing distance learning until May first, and then we’ll reevaluate and keep everyone updated as to what the decision will be towards the end of the year.”

Noem says keeping schools closed will help limit the spread of coronavirus. Extending the time frame gives districts more time to develop remote learning systems.   

“Those school administrators have been communicating with us, and school board members, on how to do that and the flexibility that they need to be able to do that district by district.”

The governor adds federal standardized testing requirements have been waived for the current school year.

“So there will be no reporting requirements to the federal government on testing and what those scores would be at that level, but at the state I’m sure the school districts will still continue their assessments as best they can in this unique situation.”

The governor says she’s amazed at the creative ways teachers are tailoring materials to meet individual students’ needs. She encourages districts to use innovative ways to help their communities as the pandemic continues.