WAHPETON — Last March, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum closed schools for in-person instruction due to concerns about COVID-19. He directed schools to serve their students via distance learning “until further notice.”

The governor amended his order on June 1, 2020, to allow schools to have summer school if they felt they could follow certain guidelines.

Wahpeton Public Schools is in frequent contact with the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction and the North Dakota Governor’s Office, the district stated Wednesday, July 8. The district is trying to find out what schools will be allowed to do in August.

“At this time, we do not know if students will be allowed to return,” Superintendent Rick Jacobson said.

Several questions need to be addressed.

If students are allowed to return, will caps on class sizes and social distancing guidelines be in place? If these are implemented, will it force the district to limit the number of students who can attend school each day?

Additionally, will schools like Zimmerman Elementary, Wahpeton Elementary, Wahpeton Middle School and Wahpeton High School still have the authority to offer distance learning classes to any student that has been identified as high risk by a medical professional?

“It is our hope that the guidelines we need to follow will be released by mid-July,” Jacobson said. “Once those guidelines are released, we will share the education plan for this fall.”

Wahpeton Public Schools knows how difficult the uncertainty is for many individuals.

“Rest assured that as soon as we have guidance from the state, we will communicate our plan,” Jacobson said.

Anyone with specific questions or concerns can contact Jacobson at 701-642-6741.

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