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US School District Lost 700 Students During Online Classes


FILE - A student takes a class online at her home in San Francisco, March 19, 2020. Hundreds of students in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, did not take part in online learning when schools closed, one report shows.

Hundreds of students in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, didn't participate in online learning last spring and all but vanished after the coronavirus pandemic drove the district to close classrooms.

Keloland.com reported 700 kids, or 3% of the district's student body, never connected with their teachers during the last quarter of the year.

Assistant Superintendent Teresa Boysen said the district tried to reach out to the students but never connected with them. She says phone numbers and emails changed and some students moved to different towns so they'd have someone to take care of them while parents kept working.

Boysen said some students have returned and have been catching up on their work in summer school. She said the district has been updating contact information in case schools have to close again this fall.

"Teachers will work with the students to take their devices home, practice getting connected and this is what we have to do in case we have to jump out," she said.

School begins August 27.

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