Preparing for the End of the School Year - Unique Considerations Due to COVID-19 Closures

Policies on grading , awarding credits , grade promotion , and graduation are all determined by individual school district Boards of Education.

Families are encouraged to
  • learn about their district policies,
  • understand how their child's academic progress and academic record may be impacted by those policies,
  • discuss concerns with school administrators, or their IEP/504 Team, to ensure students are not negatively impacted by school closures.

Guidance from the SD Dept of Education provides information on important considerations for school districts regarding short and long term impacts on students due to district policies on grades, awarding credits, and graduation.

Information Sheet from Disability Rights SD discusses potential impacts of school closures on grades and transition services for students with disabilities, providing discussion points for IEP Teams.

School policies , including new policies responding to COVID-19 closures, should be available on the district website under School Board, Policies and Procedures. Grievance Procedures will be included, providing guidance for families should disagreements arise. Your building administrator or Superintendent will be able to provide this information as well. Families with students with IEP or 504 Plans have additional options to resolve disagreements.

Repeating a Grade / Grade Retention
The decision to retain a student must be made as part of an individualized and deliberative process, and cannot be justified as a broad response to COVID-19 school closures. Much helpful guidance exists to support students, families and schools when grade retention is considered. 
Supporting Children and Families

Relaxing nature sounds from the Calm app for relaxation, deep sleep and focus. Choose rain , wind through the trees, or waves on the beach.

Each provides up to 8 hours of soothing, relaxing sounds.

Free Online Speech Therapy Games
Playing online speech therapy games should not feel like homework for your child, rather, a fun activity that you can do together. is a website that has a number of online stories and interactive activities for preschoolers and elementary-aged students. Each theme includes an online story, online activity, printable “take-home” activities and suggestions for parents. A booklist that corresponds to each theme is also offered. is a cute website for preschoolers and young children. Children familiar with the Spot book series will love the fun language-based games. There are also parent and teacher resources. offers a number of free online games for kids. Games touch upon a variety of topics, including vocabulary, grammar, reading, math and some that are just for fun! Check out Plural Girls, Grammar Gorillas or click on the reading tab for some great language activities. Family Playground is a great website for preschool and school-age children and their parents. This website includes a variety of games and activities for children related to popular characters and children’s books such as Clifford, Magic School Bus, Walter Wick, and I Spy.

Articulation Games (by Tracy Gefroh Boyd) is a great site where children plan a variety of games to practice r’s, s’s, l’s, sh’s and ch’s.

Tongue Twister Database is a fun collection of tongue twisters to practice speech sounds and giggle at the same time!
SD Parent Connection is supporting the Developmental Disabilities Network to reach families across our state to l earn how individuals with disabilities and their families are doing during this unprecedented COVID-19 crisis.

If you are an individual with a disability, or a parent/guardian, family member or caregiver of a child or adult with a disability, and live in South Dakota, please complete the SD COVID-19 Impact Survey by May 31st:
This e-publication was developed under grants from the U.S. Department of Education Project Grant H328M140021 and Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Grant H84MC07994, Family to Family Health Information Center, $96,750; and approximately 5% financed with non-governmental resources. The contents should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by US Department of Education, HRSA, HHS or the Federal Government.