I am writing today to share that beginning Friday, May 21, masks will be optional in the Dubuque Community School District.
Today, we learned that the Iowa Legislature is moving forward with legislation that would prohibit school districts from requiring facial coverings to be worn, unless otherwise required by law to do so. Based on input from our state association, this legislation is expected to pass both state houses today and then move to the Governor for signature. It will become law immediately upon the Governor’s signature, which we expect in the next few days.
The legislation comes in conjunction with updated guidance from the Iowa Department of Public Health that was released last week recommending that mask wearing be optional, as well as the county and city both moving forward with rescinding their mask ordinances.
FOR STUDENTS RIDING SCHOOL BUSES, masks will still be required while on board in accordance with an official CDC Order requiring masks on all public transportation, including school buses.
The IDPH guidance also includes updated quarantine guidelines as follows:
“…while COVID-19 positive and symptomatic children should be excluded, exposed children should no longer be required to stay home, regardless of mask usage. Moreover, when there is a positive case, parents should be given information around exposure to COVID-19 in order to make their own informed decisions regarding risk.”
Given this, the district will continue to contact trace when a student is in close contact (within six feet for 15 minutes or more) to an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19. Parents/guardians will be notified of that exposure and it will be at the parent/guardian’s discretion as to whether or not to quarantine their student.
As we enter the final weeks of an unprecedented school year, we are thankful for the tremendous support and flexibility shown by our students, staff and families this year. Our success has been possible because of everyone’s willingness to work together.
I wish you well in these final few weeks of the school year!
Superintendent of Schools