By Tim Huether
Bennett County School District students and staff will be returning to school soon, Aug. 10 for staff, and Aug. 17 for students.
School will begin for students with a “soft” opening, meaning students will attend school two days a week from August 17 through August 30. Starting August 31, the intent is to return to a normal 4 days a week school calendar.
Parents and guardians need to know that your student/s will only attend school at their building two days a week for the first two weeks. If your last name starts with a letter from A-J, they will go to their designated building on Monday and Wednesday. If your last name starts with a letter from K-Z, your student will attend Tuesday and Thursday. For families with children with multiple different last names, your students will attend the same days, but you are asked to contact the district by calling the building where your students attend to get the right days set up for you. For the high school and the middle school, call 685-6300 and for Martin Grade School, call 685-6330.
Superintendent Halverson said she wants everyone to know the school district’s website will be continually updated with information about back to school, registration, protocols, orientation nights and meet the teacher nights.
Meet the teacher nights are set for students, with Aug. 12 and 13, from 4-7 p.m., designated for students in Pre-Kindergarten, Transitional Kindergarten and Kindergarten. Parents or guardians must call the Grade School office at 685-6330 to set up an appointment. The following will all be held at the Martin Grade School Activity Center: Aug. 10, 6:30 p.m., is set up for students in the 1st grade to meet their teacher; Aug. 11 at 6:30 p.m., for 2nd and 3rd graders; Aug. 12, 6:30 p.m. for 4th graders; Aug. 13, 6:30 p.m. for 5th graders.
For social distancing, the district is requesting that just one parent or guardian attend with their student.
Students in grades 9 and 10 will meet their teachers Aug. 12, at 6 p.m. and students in grades 11 and 12 at 7 p.m. in the American Legion gym. Students in grades 6-8 will meet their teachers at the American Legion gym Aug. 13, starting at 6 p.m. The district is requesting just one parent or guardian attend.
For new students to the district, you will need to contact the building where your child will attend and register them. If your student will be in grades Pre-Kindergarten to 5th, contact Martin Grade School; grades 6-8, the middle school; grades 9-12, the high school.
Registration packets will be available Aug. 5-13 at each building, from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., (Mon.-Thur. only). Current Bennett County students will pick their packets up at the door.
Halverson said the district is offering a distance learning option for students.
“For families who do not feel comfortable about bringing their children back to school, that is an option,” said Halverson. “If you want to purse that option, you will need to make an appointment to speak to the building principal.”
The district will be using multiple ways to communicate with the students, staff and community.
“Throughout this process, we will be putting out information through the website, facebook page and app, campus messenger (phone tree), monthly school newsletter, the Bennett County Booster, various radio and TV stations and posters around the community,” said Halverson. “It is important for families to know, for the campus messenger, we need to have accurate and updated phone numbers.”
If parents or guardians have any special concerns or needs, they are encouraged to contact the building principal.
The school’s website is: https://www.bennettco.k12.sd.us/.
With all the changes surrounding the COVID-19, everyone is urged to check the above sources of information often to make sure you are up to date on what is going on at the school district.