Brookings Superintendent Klint Willert says they’re preparing for “extended period” with schools closed

Brookings School Superintnedent Klint Willert says they are preparing for what they expect to be an extended period with schools closed.

He spoke at a Friday afternoon special meeting of the Brookings School Board.

Willert says they have put a plan in place that would accommodate a lengthy closing. He says, for now, it goes until April 8th. That takes them to Easter break.
He says, given what is happening in the country, they expect a longer closure.

Willert says they will do everything possible to meet the requirements of state law when it comes to instructional time.

Director of Instruction Michelle Vande Weerd says they will be delivering instruction online. That setup won’t be ready next week because of the preparation required for online classes.
In addition, Vande Weerd says South Dakota will likely receive a U.S. Department of Education waiver so students will not have to be given state tests.

A major issue is accommodating students who have no or limited internet service. District Director of Education Technology Jason Smidt says families who have access to internet and devices are encouraged to use them. Those who do not will have it provided to them. The district has 100 Wi-Fi hot spots they can provide to families who need them. They come child-safe, with the appropriate blocks already in place. Through the use of surveys, the district believes there are about 50 families without internet and about 100 don’t have workable devices. Smidt says the district has 250 devices ready to go. Many of  those who need them have already had them assigned. Smidt says their goal is to make sure all students have access.

The district plans to continue to provide free meals for Brookings students as well as free meal delivery for those who sign up.

More information on all these matters is available at the school district website.