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Closings, Cancellations and Delays

Meade School District to pay staff during COVID-19 shutdown, classes continue on line

F.Ganje - March 19, 2020

STURGIS, SD – Meade School District employees will be paid during closings due to the COVID-19 outbreak, according to Superintendent Jeff Simmons.  “We are in session,” he says.  “Teachers, administration and hourly people are doing their jobs and taking care of responsibilities.”

Educational needs are being met through on line curriculums and packets.  “Teachers are working hard to prepare lessons  and get curriculum aligned with the ‘new normal,’ says Simmons.  “K-4 teachers are working on apps and getting students up and running.  There are also packets being distributed and returned to schools with a minimum of back and forth. 

He continues, “High school and middle school students have been doing on line work for some time,” easing the transition at those grade levels.   

At present, deep cleaning and sanitizing are being completed at all of the district’s 16 facilities that include buildings in rural Meade County, Whitewood, Sturgis, Piedmont Valley and Stagebarn. Additional steps are being taken to sanitize all district vehicles and buses.

As to financial impacts to the district, Simmons says  depending on how severely businesses and property owners are affected will make that determination.  “Our bills are paid for by taxes and those taxes come from businesses and property owners. If that is diminished, it will have an impact on school finances.”

He points to the grass root volunteers who engaged immediately when schools were closed.  “Those folks made sure students had meals. I’m proud of how the communities came together.”

As school closings continue, he says, “We appreciate the relationship with the City of Sturgis.  We’re coordinating efforts to feed all of our students,” adding, “We understand that some students are being looked after by grandparents. If there is a need to supplement provisions, we ask that caregivers call the city office or the school office and we will do our best to get food to those homes.”

Meade Schools will be providing free meals for enrolled students beginning Monday, March 23rd. Meals will be made at Stagebarn Middle School and Sturgis Elementary School by foodservice staff. Each child will receive a full lunch and breakfast each school day.

Curbside pickup will be available 11:00 am to Noon at Stagebarn Middle School and Sturgis Elementary, and lunches will also be delivered to Piedmont Valley Elementary and Whitewood elementary for distribution.

Lunches will be free for all enrolled students, but students must be present at pick-up or drop-off and school employees will need to check off their name. Some delivery routes are being planned to reach neighborhoods where children may not have transportation to the pick-up sites. If you would like to request delivery to your neighborhood, please call the foodservice office at 605-347-3601 and leave a message.

Teachers, support staff and administrators are in virtual contact, routinely and in some cases, daily, Simmons says it provides for consistency and conformity in how, “we continue to do the business of educating.”

He adds, “I’m very proud of all the hard work from teachers, support staff and administration. “In a very short time we put together a plan and executed that plan.  While it’s not perfect, it’s made it possible for us to fulfill our role as educators in trying times.”

Phone number: 605-347-4455
E-mail: [email protected]
Address: 1612 Junction Avenue, Suite #1
Sturgis, SD 57785