Redwood school board holds work session to hear plans, offer direction for 2020-21 school year

Troy Krause
Redwood Falls Gazette

The message was clear Wednesday night (Aug. 12).

As the Redwood Area Board of education met in a work session to talk about the upcoming school year, the one thing that is known at this point is that whatever plans are in place could change over night.

Following a nearly two-hour discussion, the school board, by consensus, agreed that at this point the best option seems to be a traditional in-person model for the Redwood Valley Middle School/High School students with a hybrid plan for Reede Gray – although under this hybrid plan all of the elementary students would still be in school. 

Under the hybrid plan at Reede Gray, students would be separated in smaller groups of students in each classroom with three rooms set aside for each group of students and teachers rotating between the students.

The plan would address space issues by using the gyms, media center and cafeteria, and the preschool program would be moved to a local church.

According to Andy Ourada, RASD activities director, the school is working with the church to make that happen.

Again, the board directed the administration to work toward the hybrid model at Reede Gray, but no definitive decision regarding how the school year is going to start has been made.

Much of the decision making will be based on the number of coronavirus cases that exist in the county where the school district is seated, and with Redwood County currently at the lowest level of cases, it may, under state guidelines, hold in-person classes.

While the details for the start of school continue to unfold at each level, Becky Cselovszki, RASD superintendent, told the board the items that will be needed, such as face masks and face shields, should arrive at the school soon. All students and staff will be required to wear masks when they are in the school buildings.

Some of the members of the board expressed anxiety about starting the school year with an in-person plan, with some of the discussion focused on an all-hybrid start to the year.

Plans have also been developed should that be the decision for the middle school and high school.

Cselovszki said the district will be receiving state funding to help address its COVID-19 needs.

Additional information about the upcoming school year at RASD will follow the decision by the school board next Monday (Aug. 24).