Dakota Valley students returned to in-school learning Aug. 17 after a shortened school year this last spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

There were many changes to this year’s first day of school. The elementary school changed the way they pick up and drop off students. The driveways were reversed, hoping to get more people off Northshore Drive right away by having them utilize the parking lot. With it being the first day of school, a lot of parents dropped off their children. There were so many vehicles that traffic was backed up onto the interstate, down Streeter Drive and to the Westshore Drive corner. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jerry Rasmussen and North Sioux City Police Chief Rich Headid were directing traffic. Headid strongly recommends parents do not take the interstate but rather take Military Road to keep traffic from backing up on the interstate. He also recommends not taking Streeter Drive.

Children piling out of vehicles were masked and dressed up in their first day of school gear. Each student’s mask was individually designed – some had pandas, smiley faces, superhero logos, unicorns, flowers and many more.