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COVID-19

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Recommendation to Begin Year in Hybrid Model

Good Evening DCSD Families,

As you know, we have been continually engaged in planning for our return to learning in August. We have researched best practices across the nation, attended return-to-learn webinars by top experts at the University of Iowa College of Public Health, consulted with local public health officials, and more.

I am writing to share with you that at this afternoon’s School Board committee meeting, I officially recommended that the district begin the year in a HYBRID MODEL for all grades PreK through 12. In this model, each primary household in the district will be assigned an A day or B day on which they would attend school in person. On opposite days, students will participate in at-home learning.

The district will also offer a completely online option, with dedicated district staff, for families not comfortable sending their children to school for in-person learning.

VIEW THE POWERPOINT FROM TODAY’S MEETING

The safety of our students and staff remains at the forefront of our planning. The hybrid option will allow us to most effectively implement the key prevention measure most often cited by medical experts: social distancing. Students and staff will also be required to wear face coverings and many other safety and prevention protocols will be put in place. Through this format, we will begin to welcome students back at a slow, measured pace.

I know that this decision brings with it many questions – many of which we are not able to answer today. The decision also brings with it the opportunity for families to begin planning for the start of the school year and for staff to increasingly focus our work as we move through the next month.

Much more information will follow in upcoming days and weeks. This is uncharted territory for all schools and we appreciate your ongoing work and support.

Sincerely,
Stan

Stan Rheingans
Superintendent of Schools

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Return-to-Learn Plan and Feedback Survey

Dear DCSD Families and Staff,

Today, I am pleased to share the first version of the Dubuque Community School District’s Return-to-Learn Plan with you. This document represents months of work by a variety of groups, all focused on preparing for the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year.

The plan is intended to provide an overview of the three educational delivery scenarios that we are prepared for as a district:

  • Fully in-person education
  • Fully online education
  • Hybrid education, delivered as a combination of in-person and online education

The plan also outlines the health and safety measures that will be put in place to deliver in-person learning.

VIEW THE RETURN-TO-LEARN PLAN

I emphasize that it is the first version of the Return-to-Learn Plan because as the COVID-19 situation continues to progress, and as our district team continues to prepare for the beginning of the school year, this plan and its many components will continue to evolve and change.

At the same time, we believe that it is important for us to share our current plan and invite your feedback. We hope you will take a few moments to complete our Return-to-Learn survey, which we will use to inform the continued development of our plan.

TAKE THE RETURN-TO-LEARN SURVEY
(Please complete this survey no later than Wednesday, July 8)

As always, be assured that the safety and well-being of our students and staff is always at the forefront of our planning. There is much work to do over the next six weeks, and we know that much is likely to change in the world around us. At the same time, we look forward to welcoming our students back to school and we appreciate the tremendous amount of support you provide to our students and the district.

Sincerely,
Stan Rheingans
Superintendent

Diploma

IMPORTANT Graduation Information

We are excited to celebrate with the Class of 2020 at graduation TOMORROW, Saturday, June 27.

As a reminder:

Hempstead High School’s ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. (with doors opening at 9:30 a.m.)
and
Dubuque Senior High School’s ceremony will begin at 3 p.m. (with doors opening at 2:30 p.m.)

TICKETS ARE REQUIRED FOR ENTRANCE TO GRADUATION.

  • Please be sure to wear your tickets on lanyards so they can be easily seen.
  • If you have not picked-up your tickets during one of your school’s designated times, they will be available for pick-up beginning when the doors open for each ceremony at the Dalzell Field ticket office, located outside the East Gate.

Be sure to read the complete GRADUATION 2020 SAFETY PROTOCOLS shared by email and available online at www.dbqschools.org/graduation-safety.

We also ask that you pay particular attention to the following:

SEATING

  • GRADUATES: Graduates should enter Dalzell Field through the South Entrance near the locker rooms.
    • They will be ushered directly to their seat on the field, which will be marked with their name.
  • GUESTS: Guests may enter Dalzell Field through the East, West and Visitor Gates, while observing social distancing guidelines.
    • Seating will be available in the home and visitor sections, as well as on the field level. PLEASE NOTE: The temperature at the field level is significantly hotter than in the bleacher sections. Please take this into account when selecting seats.
    • Guests of a graduate are expected to sit together in the same four-seat section.
    • Please notify an usher if you need accessible seating.
    • Bleacher seats marked with dots are AVAILABLE to sit in. Those marked off with black tape are NOT AVAILABLE to use.

PHOTOGRAPHY

  • Photography will only be allowed from guest seats.
  • Guests WILL NOT be allowed to move to the stage to take photos.
  • Each graduate will receive a high-resolution, printable professional photo at NO COST to the student.

DRINKING WATER

  • Water fountains will NOT be available during the event.
  • Graduates and guests are encouraged to bring their own water.

LIVE STREAMING

Again, we ask that you review the full GRADUATION 2020 SAFETY PROTOCOLS. Thanks in advance for your cooperation in following the safety guidelines developed for this event.

School Playgrounds Reopen Today, June 22

Beginning today, Monday, June 22, all school playgrounds will reopen for community use.

Individuals who have a diagnosis of COVID-19, are experiencing symptoms of illness (i.e. fever of 100.4 or higher, cough or shortness of breath), or have been in contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 14 days should not use district facilities.

Additionally, we recommend the following when using one of our playgrounds:

  • Bring hand sanitizer to use before and after your time on the playground
  • Bring your own reusable water bottle
  • Follow social distancing guidelines with people not from your household
Diploma

June 12 – Graduation Update

We are excited to celebrate the Class of 2020 at graduation in a few short weeks!

Graduation is scheduled for Saturday, June 27.
If there is inclement weather that prohibits the event to happen as scheduled, the rain date will be Sunday, June 28.

Hempstead High School’s ceremony will begin at 10 a.m.
Dubuque Senior High School’s ceremony will begin at 3 p.m.

READ FULL EVENT DETAILS IN THE GRADUATION SAFETY PLAN, developed following consultation with the City of Dubuque Public Health Department.

Each graduate will receive four (4) tickets for guests to attend. Ticket pick-up for graduates will be held the week of June 22. WATCH FOR INFORMATION DIRECTLY FROM YOUR SCHOOL REGARDING PICK-UP TIMES AND PROCESS.

Diploma

Graduation Update

Dear Students and Families of the Class of 2020,

We are pleased to share that we plan to move forward with holding graduation on Saturday, June 27, at Dalzell Field, pending any significant changes to the COVID-19 situation in our area.

Hempstead’s graduation will be at 10 a.m. and Dubuque Senior’s will be at 3 p.m. Due to social distancing measures in place, each graduate will be limited to four (4) tickets for family members/friends, who will be required to sit together at the event.

INFORMATION ABOUT TICKET PICK-UP WILL BE FORTHCOMING.

While we know that limiting the number of tickets is not ideal, doing so will allow us to hold the celebration in person.

The event will also be live-streamed for family and friends unable to attend. Information about accessing the live stream will also be forthcoming.

Last week, the district met with public health officials to ensure that we are putting proper safety plans in place to minimize the risk of COVID-19 spread. In accordance with public health guidelines, we suggest that older individuals and especially those with underlying health conditions not attend.

Complete safety protocols as well as door opening times and arrival procedures will be shared with families prior to the event. We understand that not everyone will feel comfortable attending the ceremony, and we respect that decision. We will still read the names of each graduate in the class of 2020 regardless of whether or not the student attends.

Again, additional details will follow. We are excited to celebrate the Class of 2020 in a few short weeks!

Sincerely,
Stan Rheingans
Superintendent

Return-to-Learn / School Calendar Update

Dear Families and Staff,

This week, we were scheduled to be sending students off for the summer. Instead, we continue our work in preparing to welcome students back in the fall. Today, I’d like to provide you with an update on our Return-to-Learn plans:

REQUIRED CONTINUOUS LEARNING
With the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year still 10 weeks away, it is too early to know exactly what the beginning of the school year will look like. What we do know is that the district will be prepared to provide required continuous learning should another disruption occur.

As a district, we will develop a model that allows us to have three required delivery options available:

  • Fully in-person education
  • Fully remote education
  • Hybrid education, delivered as a combination of in-person and remote education

Based on best practices at the time, we will be prepared to pivot in and out of these options as necessary.


2020-2021 PROPOSED SCHOOL START DATE
Our primary goal is to prepare for learning to resume in August with students and teachers back in the classroom, bringing our schools to life once again.

We want our community of learners together in person as soon as it’s safe to do so!

With that as our goal, today we shared with the School Board a proposal to amend the 2020-2021 school calendar that includes moving the first day of classes for grades K-12 to FRIDAY, AUGUST 14, with orientation for grades Pre-K-5, 6 and 9 on THURSDAY, AUGUST 13.

Amended Calendar Graphic showing changes from approved to ammended 2020-2021 calendar

VIEW THE FULL PROPOSED CALENDAR

This proposal is pending Board approval following a public hearing at the June 8 Board meeting.

It was our goal to add as many student attendance days as possible for next year and, thanks to great teamwork and collaboration among the district, our many bargaining units, and the district teacher quality committee, we are able to do so.

A final calendar will be shared with families following official adoption by the School Board.


HEALTH AND SAFETY PLANNING
The safety of our students and staff continues to be at the forefront of our work. We continue to review best practices and recommendations from federal, state and local health officials regarding health and safety protocols for welcoming back students and staff.

These best practices will likely continue to evolve in upcoming weeks and we will continue to share additional details over the summer as they are finalized.


We cannot wait to welcome our students back in August and appreciate your ongoing support and flexibility as we prepare to do so!

Sincerely,
Stan Rheingans
Superintendent of Schools

Coronavirus Update: May 27, 2020

Here are the latest updates from the Dubuque Community School District:

WEEK 10 ELEMENTARY EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES NOW POSTED
Week 10 of educational materials developed by the district’s Educational Support Team are now available on our EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES WEBPAGE. This week’s resources again include Suggested Learning Resources + Activities, a Social Emotional Learning Guide, and a variety of Student Handouts and Worksheets.

As a reminder, the district’s team has worked to be sure these resources meet the needs of learners across grade levels and of all abilities. Activities not marked with a specific grade level can be used by a wide range of students – look in the accommodations section of the resources for tips on making the learning accessible to your student!

This will be the final elementary educational resources packet for the school year. Printed copies of these packets will be available at meal delivery sites on Friday, May 29.


MIDDLE SCHOOL GRADING
At the conclusion of the scheduled school year, middle school students and families will receive report cards that include grades for trimesters one and two. Because learning occurring after the school closure was ungraded, third trimester courses will show a grade of “Ex” to indicate that the class was excused due to the closure.

Families with additional questions can reach out to their school directly.

Coronavirus Update: May 20, 2020

Here are the latest updates from the Dubuque Community School District:

NO MEAL SERVICE ON MEMORIAL DAY (MONDAY, MAY 25)
Due to the Memorial Day holiday, there will be NO MEALS SERVED at district and community meal sites on Monday, May 25. This includes ALL community meal sites operating by the Dubuque Community School District, Boys & Girls Club, DREAM Center and Project Rooted.

Meal service will resume on Tuesday, May 26, at the normally scheduled times.


RETRIEVING ITEMS FROM SCHOOLS
Next week, between May 26 and 29, MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOLS will coordinate pickup of any student items left at school. Schools will communicate directly with families to share specific times and logistical information for this retrieval of items.

At this time, students will return district-issued laptops, hotspots, textbooks and library books. Please refer to communication from your school for other items that may need to be returned, including heart rate monitors, instruments, etc.)

Students will also have an opportunity to clean out their locker.

Please remember to engage in appropriate social distancing during these pick-up times.

Families with ELEMENTARY SCHOOL students who were unable to pickup item during their school’s scheduled pick-up time can contact the school directly to make arrangements to do so.


WEEK 9 ELEMENTARY EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES NOW POSTED
Week 9 of educational materials developed by the district’s Educational Support Team are now available on our EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES WEBPAGE. This week’s resources again include Suggested Learning Resources + Activities, a Social Emotional Learning Guide, and a variety of Student Handouts and Worksheets.

As a reminder, the district’s team has worked to be sure these resources meet the needs of learners across grade levels and of all abilities. Activities not marked with a specific grade level can be used by a wide range of students – look in the accommodations section of the resources for tips on making the learning accessible to your student!

If you are having difficulty with the resources or have questions about how to accommodate the activities for your child, please reach out to your child’s teacher(s) by email or Seesaw for assistance.

Printed copies of these packets will be available at meal delivery sites on Friday, May 22.

Coronavirus Update: May 13, 2020

Here are the latest updates from the Dubuque Community School District:

HEMPSTEAD MEAL SITE LOCATION CHANGE
Beginning on Monday, May 18, meals will no longer be served at Hempstead High School due to renovation of the school’s kitchen. The meal site will move to Roosevelt Middle School, where meals will be served during the normal 11 a.m.-1 p.m. timeframe.


ELEMENTARY/MIDDLE SCHOOL INFINITE CAMPUS GRADE INFORMATION
As we move through the completion of the school year with student learning, elementary and middle school grading information will not be accessible in Infinite Campus, as the current learning for students remains ungraded at this time.

Elementary and middle school students/families will receive end-of-the-year grading information at the scheduled conclusion of the school year.


WEEK 8 ELEMENTARY EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES NOW POSTED
Week 8 of educational materials developed by the district’s Educational Support Team are now available on our EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES WEBPAGE. This week’s resources again include Suggested Learning Resources + Activities, a Social Emotional Learning Guide, and a variety of Student Handouts and Worksheets.

As a reminder, the district’s team has worked to be sure these resources meet the needs of learners across grade levels and of all abilities. Activities not marked with a specific grade level can be used by a wide range of students – look in the accommodations section of the resources for tips on making the learning accessible to your student!

If you are having difficulty with the resources or have questions about how to accommodate the activities for your child, please reach out to your child’s teacher(s) by email or Seesaw for assistance.

Printed copies of these packets will be available at meal delivery sites on Friday, May 15.