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Dubuque Schools Students to Receive No-Cost Meals Beginning Monday, Sept. 21

The Dubuque Community School District is pleased to announce that beginning Monday, Sept. 21, ALL STUDENTS in the Dubuque Community School District will receive NO-COST meals at school thanks to an extension of the USDA Summer Food Service Program.

This includes all meals served at district schools, and also includes the district’s four meal Grab n’ Go locations. The four meal pick-up locations will also now operate as open meal sites and will serve any individual 18 or under (with no infant formula or food served) at no-cost regardless of whether or not they are enrolled in a district school.

In order to help properly account for distribution, we still encourage the use of elementary student meal cards and middle/high school ID cards when getting meals from a Grab n’ Go location.

No-cost meals will continue for students until December 31 OR until funding for the program is depleted. When we are notified that the program will be ending, we will share that information with families.

All funds currently on meal accounts will remain in place and will be available for use after the extension ends. Students will still be able to purchase milk-only or a la carte items with available funds on their meal account.

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Registration Assistance for Families

Our Mobile Registration School Bus is hitting the road to provide assistance for Dubuque Community School District families still needing to complete online registration for the school year!

Join us at one of the following times/locations:

Thursday, August 13, from 1-3 p.m.
Bee Branch (in the parking lot near the 22nd Street Bridge)
Note: A Marshallese interpreter will be available at this time.

Friday, August 14, from 10 a.m.-noon
Comiskey Park
Note: A Spanish interpreter will be available at this time.

Friday, August 14, 1-3 p.m.
Flora Park
Note: A Spanish interpreter will be available at this time.

Computers will be available and district staff will be on hand to support families. Social distancing measures will be in place and masks will be required.


We look forward to seeing you at our Registration assistance events!

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Recommendation to Move Start Date to August 24

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

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Learning Method Selection Update

THANK YOU to our families for completing the Learn Method Selection Form as we prepare to begin the school year in hybrid and online learning models.

We are pleased to share that with over 8,800 form submissions, and follow-up calls to approximately 1,800 students by our amazing building teams, we have received responses from 93 percent of our students!

Based on these initial results, approximately 78.3 percent of our families plan to begin the year in the hybrid format and approximately 21.7 percent of our families plan to begin fully online.

Our teams are now working hard on the next steps in the process. This includes creation of A and B groups, which involves many interlocking systems. We are working to complete the groups as quickly as possible and will send an update on groupings to you early next week.

Again, thanks for your ongoing support – we are very excited to welcome our students back to school!

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Return-to-Learn Selection Now Available

The selection form for families to select their desired learning method (hybrid or fully online) to begin the school year is now available and was sent to families via ParentSquare.

In the hybrid option, 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 would participate in at-home learning.

In the fully online option, students will learn in a completely remote setting. In this option, students will remain students of their school and the district.

Families are asked to complete the form no later than Monday, July 27, to select either the hybrid or fully online option for each student in their household. If you have problems accessing the form, please email

We understand that this is a difficult decision for many families. Please know that we are here to support the decision you feel is best for your family.

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Return-to-Learn Frequently Asked Questions Now Available

As we prepare to ask families to select either the hybrid or fully online learning option for the start of the school year, we’ve compiled answers to the most common questions we have received.


We know that there will continue to be additional questions as we navigate these times and appreciate your patience as we work through them. We will continue to update the Frequently Asked Questions page as additional information becomes available.

We hope this information provides families with the information needed to make the best decision for their family as the school year begins.

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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.


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.


Stan Rheingans
Superintendent of Schools