Sarah Ebeling | Managing Editor

Friday, May 1. That is the date that South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem set as the date that students could potentially be back in the classroom. 

During a press conference on Tuesday, March 24, Noem told reporters that due to COVID-19 infections will continue to rise and in an effort to help stop the spread state employees will not need to report to their offices through Saturday, May 2 and school districts should remain closed until Friday, May 1. 

She noted that teachers are working hard to make sure students are taken care of. Noem said that they would be re-evaluating in the coming weeks but that she doesn’t know what the situation will be. 

She noted that all projections report that the peak of the coronavirus will not hit for another eight weeks but she is thankful to the people of South Dakota for their actions with hand washing and social distancing to help prevent the spread. 

In Hartford, West Central Superintendent Brad Berens said that if they look at what is happening across the nation it was just a matter of time before the governor made the decision. 

“Our teachers and administrators have been and will continue working collaboratively to help students move their learning forward. The new challenges of delivering instruction are keeping everyone on their toes.  This is our new norm for the time being, and it will take a group effort on everyone’s part,” he said. 

Tri-Valley Superintendent Mike Lodmel said, “I appreciate the fact that it is a decision that gives us guidance for the next few weeks. Previously, trying to make long term decisions based upon week to week guidance was very difficult.”

He noted that they are as prepared as they can be and both the teachers and staff are putting in lots of time to make sure they can handle flexible learning in the most appropriate way possible.