School is returning

Blake Gardner

If you recall, the last day of traditional education was March 13, and after five months of distance learning and summer break our students and staff are ready to return. We feel like we have developed a common-sense plan for the upcoming school year that will help our district assess the local Covid situation and tailor our instructional delivery around it.

Simply put, if we don’t have an outbreak in Hill City we should be in school. On the flip side, if there is an outbreak then we will take some time for distance learning. Patrons can visit our school website for more information on our plan.

The South Dakota High School Activities Association approved a return to play plan that includes normal start dates for fall sports with some rules modifications. High school football practice will start Aug. 6 while high school volleyball and cross country will start Aug. 13. Our student-athletes and coaches have been working tirelessly this summer and I would like to applaud their effort. I am glad they will get to have a season. I think you will be extremely impressed by the teams we put together this fall and I can’t wait to cheer on the Rangers. We return key pieces from a state runner up cross country team and a SODAK 16 qualifying volleyball team.

One of the reasons our school is always at the top of the ACT rankings is because of our rigorous curriculum. We offer dual credit courses and advanced placement courses. To show the dedication from some of our teachers and students taking these AP courses, they did a week-long boot camp to get a jump start on the school year. Great teachers, great students and great families are really what make a great school!

Finally, as we finish the month of July, I want to thank you for your support. The preparation, brainstorming, meetings and planning have been overwhelming. I think it is critical that we continue to stick together as a community and as a school. We will all have different opinions and I can guarantee there will be changes to the plans I have outlined. I believe that if we continue to work together and build each other up that we will come through this stronger than ever. I have been so proud of the solidarity our community has shown during this pandemic. It is a blessing to serve as your school superintendent and I love this school and community!

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