Classes begin at Postville Community Schools with new guidelines in place


Pictured above: Ana Choch helps her daughter, Melany Choch adjust her mask prior to entering school on Monday morning. All students are required to wear a mask when entering the building.
By: 
Sharon Drahn

As the Postville Community School District opened this week, several precautions were in place to help protect  students and staff from contracting COVID-19. During the first six weeks of school, students will learn in-person on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Wednesdays will be set aside for extensive cleaning and sanitizing, while students learn at home.

Superintendent of Schools Tim Dugger said, “We are fortunate to have received $230,000 from the Federal Cares Act to help with COVID-19 mitigation. The money can be used over the next three school years to pay for cleaning equipment, supplies, PPE (personal protective equipment), thermometers, hand sanitizer and staffing costs related to keeping the school operating safely.”

He added, “We will also receive $38,000 from the Federal Government to help with internet and technology issues for students who do not have access to the internet at home.
This will be essential if we need to go to either a hybrid or off-site model of learning.”

Following registration, the superintendent noted, enrollment seems to be holding steady. This was also indicative of attendance on the first day of school.

Upon arriving at school on Monday (and every day thereafter), all students and staff had their temperatures checked and face coverings were required upon entrance to the building. They were also required on the school bus for students who arrive at school via the district’s transportation. Face coverings are to be worn throughout the day when social distancing is not possible. 

Students are required to wear masks during all passing times until classroom or destinations are reached and students are seated accordingly and feel comfortable in the situation’s ability to provide for safe social distancing. All students within the district were issued one reusable face mask at the beginning of classes on Monday.

Many classroom spaces, including desks, tables and other furniture, have been rearranged to encourage social distancing as much as possible. Many teachers will also utilize outdoor spaces whenever possible as well. Teachers should maintain six feet from students when possible and if not disruptive to the educational process.

Unnecessary visitors will be discouraged from entering the buildings as this may affect exposure.  

Technology, including 1:1 for students and staff, will be used to assist in teaching and learning for all grade levels. The devices, which are being distributed during the first week of school, include a new iPad for students in grades K-6 and a laptop for students in grades 7-12.

 

Busing

Students riding the bus will be sitting with family members or in assigned seats. Drivers will be a minimum of six feet from students and will wear face coverings. Whenever possible, the number of people on the bus will kept to a minimum. Windows on the buses will be opened whenever possible to aid in ventilation.

 

Meals

Decisions as to how meals will continue to be served will be dependent on lunch periods being divided to minimize the number of students in the cafeteria at one time. Students will be required to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer before and after eating.

With in-person learning having begun, students will learn at home today (Wednesday, August 26) as extensive cleaning and sanitation takes place. Students will be back in the classroom on Thursday and Friday as the new normal for Postville Community Schools completes the first week of the 2020-21 school year.

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The Postville Herald

The Postville Herald
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