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Community Update - April 9, 2020
Community Update - April 9, 2020
Joe Schwan
Thursday, April 09, 2020

Dear Families of Groton Area School Students,

As announced by Governor Noem earlier this week, South Dakota schools – including Groton Area – will remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.  We will continue to promote educational growth and opportunity through implementation of the flexible learning plan.  More than ever, we’re counting on the cooperation of parents and students in actively participating in this learning by completing assignments and participating in class activities.  While nothing can replace the time we’re losing in school, we all share a responsibility to grow as much as possible during this time.

For the week of April 13 through April 17, there will be a couple of changes to what has become our new “normal” routine.  First, the delivery of academic materials will take place on Tuesday, April 14th in the typical manner at the MS/HS and elementary buildings according to the schedule below for in-town students and by using our bus routes for out-of-town students.  School lunches will be handed out in a drive-thru manner from the elementary location only – MS/HS students receiving lunches should pick up their school work then drive through the elementary parking lot to pick up their lunches.  If your family is not currently receiving lunches but would like to begin, please contact Mr. Clocksene at  The second date for meal delivery next week will be Thursday, April 16 by delivery and at the elementary.

During this process, we want to ensure that we can be mindful of the recommendations of health officials concerning the size of group gatherings, personal hygiene for clean hands, and social distancing.  Only one representative from each family will be permitted to pick up materials and will be asked to take materials for all family members.  Nobody that feels ill or is otherwise under advisement for quarantine should be sent to gather materials.  We must also request for questions and discussions with staff members be limited during the in-person exchanges and invite those questions via phone call or email.  It is possible that not all students will have materials to pick up if all of their content is being provided online.  We are encouraging people to wear bandanas or facemasks when they pick materials up.  School staff have been asked to wear masks as an additional level of protection for those we encounter, so don’t be alarmed by this when you arrive.

The following schedule of material pick-up has been established for in-town residents.  If possible, we ask that you make every effort to follow the timelines provided.  If families are unable to make the established times work, they will not be turned away, but access may be managed if certain times become too busy.  Each building will be open for pick-up from 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM.  Pick-up from the elementary will be held in the Elementary Commons.  Pick-up from the MS/HS will be held in the GHS Gymnasium.


Grade Level

8:00 AM

PreK/JK Grade 6

8:15 AM

K and Grade 7

8:30 AM

Grade 1 and Grade 8

8:45 AM

Grade 2 and Grade 9

9:00 AM

Grade 3 and Grade 10

9:15 AM

Grade 4 and Grade 11

9:30 AM

Grade 5 and Grade 12

9:45 AM

Buses will be loaded with materials for our out-of-town students.

Beginning at 9:45, we will be loading the school buses with materials for every student on a regular bus route whose materials haven’t been picked up.  The buses will run their normal routes, stopping to drop off all of the materials for the week.  We ask that families please respect the 6 foot personal boundaries for our delivery staff by not coming on to the school bus to try and retrieve materials.  If you have muddy driveways or driveways that can’t otherwise be used by a bus, we are asking that you place a box or plastic tote at the end of your driveway for us to leave your materials in.

School Meals – Updated for Week of April 13 - April 17

Lunch Distribution will take place at the following times and places:

Tuesday, April 14, 2020                  In-town students at Groton Area Elementary from 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM.  Out-of-town students via bus routes.

Thursday, April 16, 2020                In-town students at Groton Area Elementary from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM.  Out-of-town students via bus routes.

We encourage all families to take advantage of this service during this time.  All children in our district aged 18 and under are eligible for participation at no cost.  Even if your participation is simply a matter of personal convenience, we’d like to help.  If you haven’t yet signed up for these meals and would like to begin participating, please contact us. 


Joe Schwan Superintendent