At the October 19 meeting, the DCCSD School Board made the decision to have students return to all day everyday school attendance with masks required when six feet of physical distancing is not possible. This new schedule was set to start on November 2. However, that day is a scheduled professional development day and therefore, the new student schedule will take effect on Tuesday, November 3.
Several people have indicated that they have questions about masks. It's important to understand that masks play an important role in helping us maintain consistent school schedules. On September 29, 2020, Iowa Department of Public Health issued new quarantine guidance to schools. The new guidance says that people do not need to quarantine for 14 days if they've been exposed to someone with COVID if both were wearing masks. This guidance will help protect district staff members and will also reduce the need for students to miss school due to quarantine requirements. Therefore, students and staff will be required to wear face masks whenever it is not possible to maintain social distancing. There are obvious times during the school day when masks aren't practical -- lunch, strenuous exercise periods, etc.-- and we will do our best to spread students apart during these times. More specific information about face masks will be shared soon.
Some of our families who chose to start the year with online instruction have indicated that they would be interested in returning to face-to-face classes if given the opportunity. Online students in grades PK-8 may return to school on November 3 if desired. Please call the building secretary by October 28 if you would like your student to return to face-to-face classes. Students in grades 9-12 will need to complete the semester online. For these students, we will offer in-person instructional support every day at the central office. Students can come from noon to 3:30 any school day for a place to work and to get some extra help. Because space is limited, we are asking that students make an appointment ahead of time by sending an email to Natalie Wallace (firstname.lastname@example.org). In addition, students can request a Zoom meeting or phone call for more help as well.
There may also be some families who want to switch to online learning or home school because of these changes. If you would like more information about online learning opportunities, please call or email Becky Zesiger (641-664-2200, ext. 1221 (email@example.com). Families who choose this option would be committing to a full quarter of online learning. If you'd like more information about home school, please contact Laurie Bartle (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Jill Watson (email@example.com).
We realize that this change will be welcomed by some families and cause new problems for other families. Regardless of your situation, the district will continue to do whatever it takes to ensure that your student has a productive school year.