I believe we are all “tired” of COVID-19, and how it has impacted our normal daily lives of going to work, sending our students to school, shopping at stores, and many other things. We crave the normalcy of 2019 and our lives before COVID.
Regardless of our vantage point or perspective, we must continue to move forward and do the things that are recommended by experts to mitigate and eliminate COVID-19 in our community and beyond. From a school perspective, it is as simple as this: If we want our students to stay in school, we need to make sure that our students and community members are following the guidance of medical professionals at the CDC, the Iowa Department of Public Health, and other professional organizations.
The Iowa Department of Education has clearly stated that school buildings may be recommended to move to required remote learning when there is a COVID-19 testing positivity rate of 15-20% or higher over 14 days in the county, along with a 10% absenteeism rate for those expected to be in school (not including students who may be quarantined due to exposure to a student or staff member who has tested positive). I do not want our community or schools to be negatively impacted by either of these numbers or be forced to change our daily in-person learning based on the health of our students and staff.
We need to all work collaboratively on this endeavor, and we must make good decisions. While the school continues to evaluate our routines and procedures with students, we also recognize the impact that the lives of our students and others outside of school have on a healthy student and staff population.
Social/large group gatherings have been known to have a detrimental impact on the containment of COVID-19. Please keep this in mind as you make daily decisions, as this impacts schools in our community and beyond.
Use a face covering when around others. I do not believe most people enjoy wearing a face covering, but this stops the spread as individuals can spread COVID-19 to others even if they do not feel sick.
The district will continue to evaluate our environment and student health to ensure that we continue to maintain a safe learning environment for each and every student and staff member. I believe that by working together as a team of dedicated community members, we can provide an exciting and safe experience for our students in school.