Sioux Falls School District Plans for Possible Extended Closure

Mar 16, 2020

Credit Sioux Falls School District

The state’s largest school district is creating a plan in the event schools stay closed beyond this week. The Sioux Falls School District is also continuing to provide meals for students.

Sioux Falls Superintendent Brian Maher says the district’s primary role is the development of students.

“But right now our role has changed from an academic responsibility to a social responsibility,” he says.

Maher says this week’s closure may only be the beginning, and he encourages families to come up with a plan in the event of an extended school absence.

For the district’s part, Maher says its website will include a repository of free educational materials. He adds the district is planning ways to continue instruction in the event of longer closures.

“Some of that engagement will be from a technological standpoint," he explains, "but we’re also putting together a distribution plan right now for packets of information, because we know it’s not nearly enough to have a device. It’s also critical to have connectivity. And we’re cognizant that not all our families have that connectivity.”

The district also has several sites open to provide to-go lunches this week. Superintendent Maher says the district is planning how to distribute breakfast and lunch if the closure extends into next week.

He says meals are available for all students, not only those who qualify for free or reduced lunch.

Though most of those distribution sites are within walking distance of students on free or reduced lunch plans, some are not. Maher says the district does not have a meal distribution plan for students who can’t get to those sites at this time.