Welcome to the 2020-2021 school year at Dell Rapids Public School. I can’t speak for everyone, but from what I’m seeing, staff and students are happy to be back and willing to go the extra mile.
Although Covid-19 continues to challenge our best intentions and preparations, I’m confident in our Return to Learn (RTL) plan. In school hallways, you’ll find a shared belief that the actions we take today will impact the health and overall well-being of the Dell Rapids community. I’ve never been more proud of my students than I have been this first week of school. They are truly resilient, dedicated, and passionate about their school community. It’s doubtful all students agree with every mitigation strategy, yet I’ve been impressed with their willingness to adhere without argument. Most measures are temporary but crucial to our goal of on-site instruction.
In 2018 we developed the Portrait of a DRHS Graduate. This portrait serves as a north star and articulates district aspirations for students. Encircling the graduate are critical 21st-century competencies our stakeholders identified as essential for success after high school. Among the five competencies are perseverance and adaptability. The 20-21 school year will undoubtedly call upon these competencies, and students of all ages will be asked to learn new behaviors and skills. These skill sets will remain with students long after masks and social distancing are common practice.
Finally, I can’t thank the Dell Rapids community enough for their unwavering support. If you attend a DRPS event, please adhere to social distancing and face-covering policies. My students and staff are on the same team and want to do everything they can to keep each other safe while on school grounds. It’s often said, “we can learn a lot from kids.” Students are demonstrating that it’s not about wearing a mask; it’s about staying the course and keeping all staff and students healthy and on-site. Opinions aside, they are doing it collectively and without hesitation. I couldn’t be prouder to be their superintendent.