As you are aware, the COVID-19 virus is dominating many parts of our lives right now. Our administrative team and directors continue to discuss the situation and the guidance issued by the CDC, the Iowa Department of Education and the Iowa Department of Public Health. Below is the communication we received yesterday from Iowa’s Director of Education, Ryan Wise. I would also encourage you to visit the IDPH’s website – https://idph.iowa.gov/Emerging-Health-Issues/Novel-Coronavirus for up-to-date information. It is important to note that the IDPH is not currently advising any school closures. The CDC has issued guidance on when a school should consider a short-term or longer-term closure. If you are feeling ill or believe you are becoming ill, please contact your health care provider so they can give you direction about their intake process depending on your situation. The following update does not include everything we are doing but we wanted to share some of the items as part of today’s update:
- We are preparing contingency plans using various scenarios. these plans include how we deep clean our facilities and continue our on-going cleaning; how we provide meals and on-going learning opportunities to students in the event of a school closure; and many other items.
- We will not host our annual Cabaret event this evening. We are in the process of discussing how it might be modified or rescheduled and will share more information at a later time.
- Our MS show choir concert for next Tuesday will not be held. Again, we are in the process of determining how our students can share their learning at a later time.
- At this time, we are not planning to cancel next week’s parent-teacher conferences. Parents can make arrangements to call-in for conferences if they would prefer.
- Our maintenance department and custodians are working to frequently sanitize common areas and classrooms.
- We have more hand sanitizers and other cleaning products available for staff, student and visitor use. We are working to purchase additional products although we have a large supply of Lysol and other cleaning products.
- Our bus drivers are cleaning their busses more frequently and more thoroughly. This includes seats as well as the entire interiors.
- We are coordinating our efforts with area schools.
This is a stressful time for our families and any discussion of school closures creates more stress. You entrust us to provide a safe place for your child to learn. We want to keep that trust. Some of you have shared suggestions about next steps and, in some cases, we’ve been able to enact those suggestions. We are saddened when we have to cancel, postpone or otherwise adjust our regular schedule but we know it is important that we do our part to protect the health and safety of our students, staff and the greater school-community. We will continue to monitor the situation on an hourly/daily basis and provide updates to our students, staff, parents and community. The situation is evolving rapidly and we will take appropriate action as more information and guidance becomes available. We appreciate your concern and assistance as we move forward. I will send other updates as the situation warrants. Thanks again for your concern and wishes for well-being. Please let me know what questions you have – I will do my best to respond!
Mary Jo HainstockSuperintendent