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July 14, 2020

 

What type of return does the district expect?

 

The district is currently planning for a full return, in-person, start of the school year to begin on August 24, 2020, and to work with families through remote learning that are unable or unwilling to send their student(s) on site. To help provide information on future decision making and planning, surveys will be provided to families and staff on these initial concepts. Opportunities to share thoughts about plans and ask questions will be part of the survey process. There may be multiple surveys before school starts and throughout the year. The first is planned to be released the week of July 13.

 

No matter the final school start model, students and parents should be prepared for potential changes.  A hybrid (having a smaller number of students attend school each day) and remote learning framework/plan have been developed to adjust to any health and safety information or orders from such organizations as the Governor’s Office, Iowa Department of Education, Boone County Health Board, etc.

 

There are a multitude of decisions to make with each plan and the district continues to work on these, and looks forward to the feedback it will receive to continue to develop and refine plans.

 

How is the district planning on addressing the health concerns in the building?

As we continue to develop our plan for our students' return, we are consulting guidelines and recommendations from such organizations as the Governor's office, Iowa Department of Education, Boone County Health Board, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics etc. The health and safety of our students and staff are an important element addressed with every decision we make. These guidelines continue to be updated and released frequently as more information on the virus is discovered. We will continue to develop and update our health and safety plans as needed to reflect these changes. 

 

Has a determination been made on face coverings for students?

The Boone County Health Board has recommended: “Pre-K to 12 schools. When schools resume in the fall we recommend the following minimum measures. All staff should be required to wear face coverings at all times when they are around students or other staff. We recommend face coverings should be required on students as applicable. Social distancing in classes, minimizing classroom changes, staggered lunches and recesses should be followed.  Hand cleansing should be frequently practiced and encouraged.” (this is draft language provided to the district on 7-10-2020 by the Boone County Health Board and will be updated with the official language once finalized).  The district currently plans to follow the recommendation. We are taking the guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics in consideration of students’ ability to wear masks. To start the school year, the district would currently plan all students, PK - 12 wearing masks, understanding that, as the guidance states, adjustments may need to be made for the youngest ages/grades.  Legal counsel has advised that limited exceptions can be made for persons with special health considerations or perhaps bona fide religious objections.

 

This recommendation was approved by the Boone County Health Board on July 6.

 

Will school representatives conduct temperature checks for students and teachers entering school buildings? 

No. The district will recommend students take their temperature and perform a self-screening daily before coming to school.  The self screening information will be provided to families. Staff will be required to perform a self wellness check upon arrival.

 

How does the district plan to address social distancing in classrooms and other school spaces? Some social distancing plans include increasing space between students in classes whenever possible, altering schedules to help limit the number of people in common areas and hallways, eliminating mass gatherings like assemblies or field trips, encouraging learning/lessons and activities taking place outdoors when possible and limiting visitors to the building.  Lunch will take place in the classrooms or a rotation where some students are in the lunch room with distancing and others are eating in the classroom might be developed.

 

When will the district finalize its plan? Early August.

 
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