PERSONALIZED. INNOVATIVE. GLOBAL.
The primary goal of this communication and any future communication is to inform you our plans moving forward and to limit the spread of COVID-19.
We have a Crisis Response Plan in place for Van Meter Community School District. You can view the plan by clicking the link. We have followed the guidance of the Governor's Office to close school through Sunday, April 12. You can view the plan by clicking the link above.
Since March 16-20 was spring break, many of you will be returning from other locations. For those of you who traveled over break, here is the guidance from the IDPH:
It is recommended that Iowans self-isolate for 14 days in the following situations:
• If you have been on an international cruise in the last 14 days.
• If you have traveled internationally in the last 14 days to a country with a Level 3 Travel Warning in place.
• If you live with someone who has symptoms of COVID-19 or has tested positive for COVID-19.
Please be mindful and use best practices for remaining healthy and try to do all you can to prevent the spread of illness upon your return. Here is a link to CDC guidance to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Please know that we continue to monitor the situation by working closely with the Dallas County Health Department, Iowa Department of Public Health, and the Centers for Disease Control. This is a very fluid situation and could change daily.
Stay informed and look for information on this virus and situation from reliable and trusted sources:
Thank you for your support and partnership as we work together to maintain a healthy learning environment.
Q: What can I do to help prevent the spread of COVID-19?
A: Families and community members can help by following these simple, easy steps that help prevent the spread of ALL contagious viruses, including COVID-19. Practice the same routine hygiene used to help prevent the cold and flu.
- Regularly wash hands.
- Stay home, especially when sick.
- Cover your mouth with your upper arm or tissue when coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
- Clean and disinfect touched objects and surfaces.
Q: What types of activities are canceled outside of school?
A: VMCSD schools will be closed through Sunday, April 12. However, given the severity of this situation, other events may be canceled at a later date. Here is the guidance from the IHSAA, IGHSAU, IHSSA, and IHSMA
Q: What is VMCSD doing during the closure?
A: VMCSD administrators are collaborating with state education and health officials to make the best decisions for our students, families, and staff in the coming weeks. We are also working to communicate timely information to help ease stress and answer questions during this difficult time.
Q: What is VMCSD doing to clean buildings?
- The buildings are being cleaned with a disinfectant that covers all surfaces.
- Disinfected sections will be taped off to prevent individuals from entering cleaned areas. Some areas will be cleaned regularly if they are used by essential staff or contractors.
- All activities and events have been canceled to prevent recontamination throughout buildings.
Q: Will students have to make up the school days missed during the closure?
A: Gov. Reynolds signed legislation waiving the instructional time requirement for school days missed during the next three weeks (through Friday, April 10). This means students will NOT need to make up any of the days missed between now and April 10. She also received the authority to extend the waiver, if needed.
Q: What happens if school DOES NOT resume by April 13? Will this change how you determine graduation requirements or state requirements for students to move to the next grade level?
A: VMCSD administrators will work closely with the Iowa Department of Education to determine how that would impact our students. We encourage you to be patient and trust that the decisions we make will be in the best interest of your students.
Q: What if I choose to keep my student home beyond April 12 and the school has resumed?
A: Families who choose to keep their students after school resumes should communicate directly with the school. Staff will work to provide resources just as they would if the student was absent for any other reason.
Q: Will staff or students be required to self-quarantine after April 12?
A: Local and state public health departments will determine if someone is at risk for coronavirus based on a list of criteria.
Q: What online/virtual learning options does VMCSD have available for students?
A: At this time online/virtual learning will be provided, but is not required. Teachers will be getting information out to students and families soon.
Q: I want my children to have access to learning material so they don’t lose the momentum they’ve gained this year. What can I do?
A: VMCSD administrators are working with teachers to create a list of elementary and secondary online resources for students. These resources will be made available online starting sometime the week of March 23.
Q: Will students still be required to take the annual statewide assessment (ISASP)?
A: Our current priority is the health and safety of our students and staff. We will coordinate with the Iowa Department of Education to determine if statewide assessments will be given this school year. As more information becomes available, we will share it with staff and families.
Q: Can families get into schools to retrieve medicine, devices, books, etc.?
A: A scheduled pickup time of medicine will be Monday, March 23 from 1:00-3:00 p.m. If this date or times do not work for your family, please email your building principal. firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Q: What resources can families access for nutrition?
A: Starting Monday, March 23, the VMCSD Nutrition Services Department will provide free “grab-and-go” meals for children. Meals will be provided from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and can be grabbed at the East Dining Hall entrance. Contact Barb Sandusky at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
Q: How do I talk to my children about COVID-19?
A: Below are listed some resources from the American School Counselor Association website www.schoolcounselor.org to help you and your student understand COVID-19 and discuss it together.
- Talking to children about COVID-19
- A short informational video from BrainPop
- Resources for stress and addressing unsure feelings of COVID-19
- This video gives many details about the virus, and it can be translated into any language