Good Evening Families and Staff,

As we prepare to welcome students back to school in the safest way possible, tonight I recommended to the School Board that the district move the first day of school back to the originally scheduled date of Monday, August 24, pending approval at the School Board meeting on Monday. In the proposed modification, orientation days would be on Thursday, August 20, and Friday, August 21.

Professional development days for teachers will now move from Friday, August 7, to Tuesday, August 11. More information about teacher professional learning will be forthcoming.

Most questions we are receiving from families seek more specifics about contact tracing and how the district will determine when to transition from one learning model to another. We have been unable to provide these specifics as we awaited state guidance.

Late last week, new guidance released by the Iowa Department of Education and the Iowa Department of Public Health left additional questions unanswered and placed much additional responsibility on local public health officials and school districts to determine specifics we expected to receive in the guidance.

This recommended move in start date will give us the extra time needed to ensure strong collaboration with local public health officials and ultimately provide families with the specifics they seek. Our goal is to keep you as informed as possible and, with these late changes, we want to be sure you have the information you need to make the best learning decisions for your family. As our work with public health progresses, we will share specifics with you as soon they are available.

We know that this calendar change may require you to make childcare arrangements for the week of August 17, so we wanted you to be aware of this recommendation for planning purposes.

In the next few days, we will also continue to move forward with the assignment of A/B hybrid learning days and plan to share those assignments with families.

We are thankful for your ongoing support of our students and thank you for your continued flexibility during these challenging times.

Stan Rheingans
Superintendent of Schools