Tea Area School District prepares for extended school closure
In a press conference on Tuesday, March 17 South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem announced that there would be no school across the state of South Dakota next week (March 23-27) due to the Cornoavirus Pandemic.Tea Area Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jennifer Nebelsick Lowery, provided a statement to the district on the Tea Area School District’s Facebook Page, “As you know, the Governor has extended the closure of schools through the week of March 23. We are closed including, out-of-district programs and transportation. At this time, we plan to reopen on March 30. Online instruction will begin on Monday, March 23. Additional information will be coming to help support our Titan families and students.”Authorized personnel are the only individuals allowed in District buildings. These individuals will receive health checks before beginning their work.The District Education Center will remain open with limits on visitors (7:30 am to 4:00 pm). The District Education Center phone number is 605-498-2700 x5. Administrators will continue answering emails but will not be in their office.Other School District updates include:All Kindergarten, First-Grade, and Second-Grade families were to come to their elementary school to pick up a District iPad. The District is able to electronically “push out” content to their iPads. The District is not able to “push out” content to one’s personal iPad.iPad distribution was to take place on Wednesday, March 18, from 4pm to 7pm at each elementary school.The District posted the advice, “Stay in your car. Do not come if you are sick.”The Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Grade students will receive online instruction delivered through google classroom. The School District recognizes that a family may have a device in their home with google, but may not have enough devices for parents to work from home and each of their children to be doing their classwork. The District would like each child to have his or her own chromebook to limit this difficulty at home. If a family needs or would like an additional chromebook to facilitate learning at home, please come to the chromebook distribution. The chromebook distribution was to occur at the same time as the iPad distribution.Seventh through twelfth Grade students should already have their chromebook and charger. Please email the student’s principal or assistant principal if there is a concern.The School District said on Tuesday that they would be rolling out information concerning how the District will support lunches for students in need.Superintendent Nebelsick Lowery said, “We will be providing additional information on what instruction will look like beginning on March 23 from our newly developed digital platform. We thank you for your kindness and patience in advance. We are learning with you and are grateful for your grace, feedback, and help.“If you have a need, please call our office, communicate with your building principal, or share with your teacher. We want to support our families and communities. We are in a unique position with resources and strong connections. Please let us know how we can help.“Please respect the needs of our greater community and maintain social distance. The purpose of closing school is to allow people to be at home and slow the spread. Please do your part by staying away as much as possible from public places.”For the latest updates regarding COVID-19 visit www.teaschools.k12.sd.us or www. facebook.com/TeaAreaSchoolDistrict. Watch this newspaper for future articles.