PERSONALIZED. INNOVATIVE. GLOBAL.
So far, it seems to be going as well as it can during this unusual time. We appreciate all of the positive feedback we have received. No one knows how long exactly the shut down will last, but we are prepared to provide a high-quality education for our students online for as long as needed. If you have any questions, please email Mr. Tibbetts, Mr. Lamoureux or Mr. Durflinger and we will do our best to respond to you as quickly as possible.
Our online learning supports are not required at this time but are encouraged for all students. If your child is taking an online DMACC course or a concurrent DMACC course through Van Meter, the work for those courses needs to be completed as if nothing has changed.
We are better positioned than most schools in providing the type of learning environment needed for kids to continue to learn during this time away from the building. It will be helpful in not only supporting students' growth and in meeting course and grade-level academic standards, but in keeping them connected with their classmates and teachers during this time of social distancing.
To help students continue to learn, access to technology is needed. If your child does not have a device or internet to learn with at home, please be sure to contact Mr. Linde. We will make arrangements to get the devices to you ASAP and find ways to help you access the internet.
If you have questions, please don't hesitate to contact your child's building principal at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or their teachers. If you have technology specific questions, contact Mr. Linde at firstname.lastname@example.org
Grab and Go Lunch/Breakfast
We are going to make a slight change. Starting on Monday, March 30, the pickup hours at the East Dining Hall will only be from 11:00-Noon instead of 1:00 p.m.
All you have to do is go to one of three locations to grab your lunch for the day and your breakfast for the next day. The Grab and Go bags will be available at:
- Prairie Village from 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The van will be located at the main entrance.
- Crestview Estates from 11:35 a.m. to 12:05 p.m. at the corner of Bulldog and Long Avenues.
- Bus pick up lane at the East Dining Hall of the Secondary Building from 11:00 a.m. to Noon p.m.
Daycare for Essential Employees
Again, the daycare is for a limited field of people from the essential employee list outlined by DHS. More information can be found here.
We are still evaluating if there is a need in our community and if we have enough associates and teachers who are willing to help provide daycare during this national and state emergency situation.
Let me know at email@example.com if you have any questions.
COVID-19 FAQ(March 27, 2020)
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. All activities scheduled during that time are postponed or canceled. Jr/Sr Prom may be rescheduled at a later date, but that won't be determined until later this spring.
Until we hear differently, we will resume activities as scheduled on April 13. However, we are preparing for a longer shutdown that could very well impact not only sports and activities but the graduation ceremony. Once we have more guidance, we will communicate our plans with you.
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.
It is important to take advantage of the online continuous learning opportunities that are being provided by the district. This will give students the best opportunity to meet the standards of their courses and grade levels if the shutdown is extended.
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.
See all of the information that has been provided above.
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 and teachers have created a list of elementary and secondary online resources for students. These resources are available and students are encouraged to complete tasks provided by teachers.
Q: Will students still be required to take the annual statewide assessment (ISASP)?
A: We will not be taking any state or federally mandated assessments this school year. A waiver is being completed by the IDOE. More information can be found here.
Q: Can families get into schools to retrieve medicine, devices, books, etc.?
A: A scheduled pickup time of medicine was on Monday, March 23 from 1:00-3:00 p.m. If this date or times did 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 Noon and can be grabbed at the East Dining Hall entrance and other locations identified above. 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
The Iowa Department of Education has an FAQ that is regularly updated. It is linked here.
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.