PCSD administration explains how the district will move forward as COVID-19 numbers surge

With the surge in COVID-19 cases recently, the Postville Community School District is doing its best to maintain the current learning schedule. In an effort to explain how the District will move forward, the letter published below, was sent to all Postville families who have children attending the school district.

 

November 23, 2020

Dear Postville Families 

and Community Members,

The Postville School District is doing its best to maintain the current learning schedule. The district recognizes the surge in area COVID19 cases over the past month. With that being said, the positivity rate within the school does not mirror this.

We have been fortunate to keep the community spread to a minimum in the district. In fact, we have had very few cases of transmission while the students and staff are at school. It appears positive cases are coming from events and gatherings outside of our buildings.

The district continues to work with state and local health officials in the decision-making process for potential learning model changes. Specifically, we are working with Cheryl Darling-Mooney and Lisa Moose from Allamakee County Public Health Office. The two factors which will greatly affect our school system are school virus transmission percentage and the students/staff absence rates.  The traditional face to face instruction will continue until circumstances change significantly for the worse.

The district would appreciate your efforts in following sound protocols aligned with expert health guidelines to ensure we are doing everything we can to protect the health of our students, staff, and families. We will continue to practice mask wearing, social distancing, frequent hand washing, and other strategies we know help prevent the spread of COVID19 and other illnesses. We are doing this all at school, but PLEASE do this at night and on the weekends so that we can continue face-to-face learning at school.

Finally, the district would appreciate your efforts in keeping the lines of communication open.  Please notify the school immediately if you have important information regarding the health of your student. This includes any and all symptoms of illness.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.  As always, thank you for your support during this challenging time in our school district community.

Mr. Dugger

Mr. Knudtson

Mrs. Schutte

Mrs. Livingood, RN

 

Superintendent Dugger further noted that he has been working with the staff members who work directly with staff and student attendance records to collect absentee rate data for the Postville Community School District. This data will be updated daily going forward and the dashboard will be on the school website for the community to review if interested.

Dugger explained, “The Postville School District is committed to providing accurate data regarding student and staff absences.  This information is key in making decisions regarding our Return-to-Learn Plan which encompasses whether instruction will be delivered face to face, hybrid, or off-site.”

The district uses the Iowa Department of Education and the Iowa Department of Public Health guidelines in making determinations regarding the learning model used in the school system.

Off-Site Learning is when students are off campus for up to 14 days at a time. There are 2 ways in which a building and/or district would be eligible for this model.

1. Community Transmission: Substantial Controlled

1. The Department of Education and Public Health approve this change.

2. At least 15% positivity rate in Allamakee County and 10% absenteeism rate (sick students).

2. Community Transmission: Substantial Uncontrolled

1. The Department of Education and Public Health approve this change.

2. At least 20% positivity rate in Allamakee County.

 

He said, “We will be monitoring these figures closely in making determinations regarding our learning model. The district could, however, apply if we are below these thresholds for other reasons such as a lack of staffing due to illness and/or quarantine.”

The Web Link for the Iowa Department of Education and the Iowa Department of Public Health official guidelines are printed below:

https://educateiowa.gov/documents/pk-12/2020/07/chart-return-learn-reope...

Web Link for the Postville School District COVID19 Data:

https://www.postvilleschools.com/covid-19/coviddata

 

The student absences are broken down into illness and quarantine while staff absences are for illness, quarantine, and other reasons. The Allamakee County Positivity Rate is also included. This information will give you a daily snapshot regarding attendance levels for the district and data that is referenced by the district.

Students and staff who are considered sick, may or may not be COVID19 positive. In addition, quarantine is when healthy students and staff must stay home due to a positive COVID19 exposure.

Category:

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