300 S. Splitrock Brandon 57005
Fax: 605-582-7456

Return to Learning

After seeking input from families, staff, and community, the Brandon Valley School District has developed a Return to Learning plan. Parents have two options to choose from. The learning models described in the Superintendent’s introductory video and below provide families the flexibility to choose an instructional model to meet their needs during these uncertain times, and reflects our District’s commitment to providing a high-quality educational experience, regardless of the setting.

Traditional Learning

This model represents a return to the school campus and the classroom where students will interact directly with their teacher(s) and classmates. The school day will follow the standard bell times and standard schedule that includes all the core classes and other subject areas. In short, it represents a return to the traditional school environment – with several significant changes involving enhanced health and safety precautions.

Our goal is to create an environment that provides an opportunity for students to return to the traditional school experience, while providing safeguards to protect the health and safety of students and staff.

Health Actions on Every Campus

  • Practice safe social distancing to the greatest extent possible
  • Post signage and provide lessons to strongly encourage frequent hand washing and hygiene practices
  • Ensure hand sanitizer is available throughout the campus
  • Increased cleaning protocols throughout each campus
  • Limit group gatherings where possible
  • Strongly recommend wearing face masks on campus. Click on the Recommended Masking tab in the navigation bar for more information.
  • Symptom screening for all staff and students. Click on the COVID News tab in the navigation bar to review the Daily Individual Health Screening Process.
  • Adhere to the established Protocol for an Individual Exhibiting Symptoms. Click on the COVID News tab in the navigation bar for more information.

School Bus Safety

  • Strongly recommend students wear face masks on the bus
  • Ensure hand sanitizer is available on each bus
  • Disinfect buses before and after each route

At the elementary school level, we are creating a cohort model, where students will spend the majority of their time on campus with the group of students in their class, including in the classroom, the cafeteria, media center, and the playground. Interaction with students from other classes will be limited to the greatest extent possible. If a student displays symptoms of illness, it will likely impact their cohort classmates, and not the entire school, in terms of quarantine or other interventions.

At the intermediate, middle, and high school level (Grades 5-12), each school will have a customized plan to discourage large gatherings of students in hallways and common areas, using clear communication and signage to reinforce the message.

Extra-curricular activities will resume and will adhere to recommendations from SDHSAA, ESD/Metro Conferences, and the Brandon Valley School District Administration.

Distance Learning

This full-time learning experience is designed for families who don’t yet feel comfortable sending their student(s) back to school on-site. In this learning model, students will independently work on assignments and maintain contact with their teacher using web-based platforms and tools, email, and phone calls.

We will offer courses for students in Early Childhood through 12th grade, provided by a team of teachers who offer support between 7:45 AM and 3:45 PM, Monday through Friday. Enrollment requires a semester-long or year-long commitment, as well as an adult who can partner with the Distance Learning teacher by serving as the learning guide for the student, especially at the elementary and intermediate levels.

Students enrolled in the Distance Learning model must participate in all required state assessments.

Students in grades JK-6 will access their distance learning plans through our distance learning website and will submit their assignments to their teacher electronically or drop them off at a designated campus.

Grade 7-12 students will be issued laptops and will participate in accredited online courses via Edgenuity* and will be supported by Brandon Valley Staff.

Middle and high school students will have access to academic advisement and college planning. Graduates earn a standard high school diploma accepted by colleges, universities, and other postsecondary programs.

*Edgenuity courses and curriculum are built using an instructional model grounded in research and are aligned to state standards. This online curriculum combines direct-instruction videos featuring expert, on-screen teachers with rigorous assignments, performance tasks, and assessments to engage students and ensure subject-area mastery.


The deadline for making your selection was July 31, 2020.

  • If you selected the Traditional Learning Model, no further action is required.
  • If you selected the Distance Learning Model, submit a BV Opt-in form for EACH student enrolling in the Distance Learning Model.

If you have reviewed the Frequently Asked Questions (below) and you still have a question, please email your building principal.


During the school day, no outside visitors or parents will be allowed on campus (except as required for return to school programming). This topic will be revisited after the completion of the first semester.
No, you may select the learning model that works best for each child.
A continuous and consistent learning environment is best for student success. However, we understand parents and students might have compelling reasons to seek a transition from one option to another, so we will provide opportunities to do so after the completion of the first semester. 
Core classes will be available under both options. The Distance Learning option will have encore and elective learning opportunities; however, these may differ from courses available in the Traditional Model.
The 2020-21 Distance Learning model will be a different learning experience. JK-6 students will be assigned a distance learning teacher who will develop the distance learning plans and be available for instructional support. 7-12 students will participate in online courses via Edgenuity and will be assigned a distance learning teacher to answer questions.
Yes. Recess will be organized to emphasize cohort grouping and social distancing. Playground equipment will be cleaned between use.
For students in grades JK-6, adequate access to a device and an internet connection is preferable. All students in grades 7-12 are issued laptops and will need internet access. Contact administration if you need assistance with internet accessibility and connectivity.
Our school district utilizes online platforms for meetings with staff and students. Teachers and students will be expected to be familiar with all safety and security features, and use them appropriately.
No. Generally, staff members will either teach in-person on campus in the Traditional Learning model or will teach electronically in the Distance Learning model. However, at the secondary level staff may be assigned a Distance Learning course.
No. We fully expect to start the school year on August 19.
"Open House" appointments for Early Childhood students, junior kindergartners, kindergartners, and their parents/guardians will be scheduled for August 19th-21st. The official start date for Early Childhood, Jr. Kindergarten and Kindergarten students will be Monday, August 24th. All other students (grades 1-12) will begin school on Wednesday, August 19th.
Yes. A selection of AP/Honors courses will be offered.
Elementary students will engage in encore learning in the Traditional and Distance Learning models; however, some encore subjects will only be offered through the Traditional option and will have procedures in place to support the health, safety and wellness of students and staff. On-site encore programming may be altered in response to COVID-19 developments.
Yes. In the Traditional Learning Model, Google Classroom will be used to support face to face instruction at the intermediate, middle, and high school levels. Seesaw will supplement in person instruction and distance learning at all elementary schools. Edgenuity will be the delivery system for middle and high school students choosing the Distance Learning option. Paper packets will be posted online for JK-6 Distance Learning students and assignments can be submitted via Seesaw (JK-4) and Google Classroom (5-6) or dropped off at a designated school. Screencastify, Flipgrid, and Smart Recorder will be utilized by teachers to enhance instruction in the traditional and distance learning models.v>
Your child will continue to be instructed by their regular teacher(s).
In the Distance Learning model, students independently complete teacher created assignments and maintain contact with their teacher using web-based platforms and tools, email, and phone calls. Public School Exemption students (Home School students) may choose to utilize district curriculum materials but receive no BVSD instructional support.

  Health and Safety

Students and staff are strongly recommended to wear masks. Please visit the Recommended Masking tab in the navigation bar to assist you in making your decision.
Students will be socially distanced to the extent possible. At the elementary school level, where social distancing will be difficult, students will spend most of the school day interacting only with students in their class. By limiting their exposure to a small number of students, we reduce the chance of infection. In most cases, if a student becomes ill, the immediate class is affected, not the entire school. At the intermediate and secondary levels, social distancing will be practiced to the extent possible.
School custodians will clean frequently touched surfaces throughout the day and conduct overall cleanings at the conclusion of every day. Other non-custodial staff members will be expected to do their part to keep surfaces clean.  Teachers will have access to cleaning supplies for their classroom.
The Brandon Valley School District will partner with parents in educating students on the importance of staying home when sick, washing hands, practicing good hygiene, and maintaining social distancing. The Daily Individual Health Screening Process is to be completed at home, prior to arrival, and during the morning on a routine basis. Hand sanitizer will be made available in classrooms and workplaces.
Any individual exhibiting symptoms of illness will be given a surgical mask, be isolated, and be required to leave the facility. The individual's return will be allowed based on following criteria: 14 days symptom free, a negative COVID-19 test, or documentation allowing return from a Health Care Professional.
The South Dakota Department of Health or medical provider, will notify the district if a student or staff member tests positive. The school will notify applicable families, while not specifically identifying the student or staff member. We will cooperate with the Department of Health and assist with the notification of individuals who have been deemed a close contact with the confirmed case.
Yes, all families will be informed at the building level.
Yes, you will receive direct communication and will be instructed to quarantine for 14 days.
No. The act of quarantine is a proactive precautionary approach to isolate a potential infection. An individual that is required to quarantine due to being a close contact of a person with a positive COVID-19 test will not result in communication to parents. Only confirmed positive cases, by the Department of Health or a medical provider, will be communicated to families.
No. We will not disclose an individual’s health information; including the result of a COVID-19 test. Such an action would be a violation of Federal Law (HIPAA).
In addition to the safety precautions described above, all staff will be provided a face shield and cloth face covering.

  Special Services

The Brandon Valley School District will continue to identify, locate, and evaluate students suspected of having a disability and needing special education and related services. At the same time, we will be mindful that students have been displaced from their typical learning environment when initiating the referral process. Evaluations require in-person contact with students or observations of students in educational settings. In-person evaluations conducted by our staff will be administered while adhering to the South Dakota Department of Health guidelines for the safety of students and staff.
We are committed to providing families an opportunity to have meaningful participation in the special education process. Whether in-person or an alternative format, such as videoconferencing or by phone, IEP teams will partner with families to determine the most practical format to conduct IEP meetings.
Distance Learning students will have access to many accommodations that naturally occur in the virtual setting. In addition, teachers may be able to provide additional accommodations per a student’s IEP or Section 504 Plan if the accommodation(s) is/are applicable to the Distance Learning environment. In cases where accommodations are not available the IEP team will meet and amend the IEP.
EL students will receive accommodations. Please note some accommodations may not be possible to implement in the online educational setting.
The Traditional service model will be utilized to provide services to gifted students attending Brandon Valley Middle School. We are temporarily suspending gifted services at the intermediate and elementary schools for the 2020 - 2021 school year to limit exposure, reduce the chance of infection, and minimize crossover among children between schools.


Meals will be prepared with limited student choice. Communal salad bar will not be offered. Disposable serviceware will be used. Elementary students will dine in their classrooms. Multiple serving lines and/or additional dining rooms will be utilized at the intermediate, middle, and high schools in an effort to promote social distancing. Hand sanitizer will be available in all dining areas.
The process is the same as in the past. A letter will be sent to all families of the child's classroom stating a student with a known life threatening allergy is in the classroom and they should not send any meals or snacks with that specific allergen. Example: peanut butter items are not allowed for a known peanut/tree nut allergy.
Yes. Multiple meal Grab and Go Lunches will be offered every Tuesday at your designated attendance center. Pick up will be from 1:00 to 2:00 pm. Paid meal prices will apply. Contact Gay Anderson, Child Nutrition Services Director for more information.


Students and staff will be strongly recommended to wear masks on school buses. Hand sanitizer will be available on each bus. Buses will be disinfected before and after each route.

  Student Activities

Yes, we will offer activities during the 2020-2021 school year.
Extra-curricular activities are a key component to providing a well-rounded educational experience. Research demonstrates activities positively impact the social and emotional well being of students. Most activities have a smaller, more select crowd. At this time, only in-district facility use is permitted, which includes designated school sponsored extra-curricular activities.
Not during competition or practice, but they will be strongly recommended to wear masks while riding the bus to and from events. The wearing of masks may reduce the potiential need to quarantine due to close contact exposure. When traveling, host sites may have a masking requirement.
Yes. Crowds will be limited.
No. The limiting of attendance provides our participants the best opportunity to complete their season and reduces the likelihood of community transmission. For the overall safety and well-being of our community, the general public will not be permitted to attend. However, events will be made available in digital format when possible.
Yes. Peer support of their fellow Lynx is vital to program success and is key to fostering a sense of community within our schools.
No. The Distance Learning model is designed for families who don’t yet feel comfortable sending their student(s) back to school on-site. Extra-curricular activties are an extension of the on-site school day.