Dear DCSD Families and Staff,
As many of you know, we continue to see COVID-19 cases increases in our community and our state. And, with Dubuque County’s 14-day positivity rate breaking the 20% threshold, we have received a number of questions about the impact of COVID-19 on schools moving forward.
At this time, we will continue to operate in our hybrid model with the fully online option in place for those desiring it.
The strong mitigation strategies in place across the district (including mandated mask wearing and social distancing in school settings) continue with daily reinforcement to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff while they are in our buildings.
Our hybrid system was designed with the assumption that COVID-19 was present in our community, and we feel confident in maintaining this model at this time for two key reasons:
- In almost every instance, contact tracing efforts have linked positive cases in the district to activities or interactions unrelated to school or school-sponsored activities.
- Most frequently, this is tied to another household member being positive or from attendance at a social gathering – even small ones!
- A look at the district’s COVID-19 Dashboard shows that active, positive cases are widely spread out across the district.
- Our absentee rate due to illness remains within normal limits. Over the past two weeks, the district has averaged a daily student absentee rate due to illness of just over 3%.
We continue to be amazed with how well our students and staff have adapted to the many changes and are so proud of their ongoing commitment to following the health and safety protocols in place.
BUT, WE ARE NOT OUT OF THE WOODS.
While we believe schools are a safe learning environment for students, we remain very concerned about the upward surge of COVID-19 cases in our county and state. If we do not enhance personal mitigation practices throughout our community, all current data indicates we will see the surge continue to grow and put immense pressure on our community.
We are doing everything in our power to maintain consistency in our learning model. As we move forward, we will continuously monitor COVID-19 data in our schools and community. We continue to plan for a variety of future scenarios, including plans to move back to fully in-person learning when it is safe to do so or to move classrooms, buildings or the district to fully remote learning should conditions necessitate.
TO MAINTAIN CONSISTENT LEARNING, WE NEED YOUR HELP NOW MORE THAN EVER!
If community numbers continue to rise, they have the potential to impact district staffing and student attendance levels, while also putting additional strain on our community healthcare system – all of which could jeopardize our ability to maintain consistent operations.
WE CAN CHANGE THE COURSE, BUT WE CAN’T LET OUR GUARD DOWN.
Please, on behalf of our students and staff, be diligent:
- Wear a mask and social distance.
- Limit indoor gatherings.
- Wash your hands.
- In every interaction you have, ask yourself “Does this behavior put me, my family or others at risk?”
As a community, the ability to reduce COVID-19 transmission is a challenge that we collectively have the power to change. Thank you for playing your part in doing so.