Return to Learn Plan-Update

The Iowa Department of Education has given schools guidance on reopening schools in the fall. The guidance is broad in nature and allows school districts to make local decisions on most aspects of reopening our buildings. We are still working through the details of our plans and many questions won't be answered until we get closer to the start of the school year. With all of our close to 1000 students being in one building, it presents different challenges that other districts might not face. A few things to note as of today:

  • We are planning on starting back in an on-site learning environment on Monday, August 17
  • We will have a quality remote/online option available for families who choose not to attend (contact Mr. Tibbetts or Mr. Lamoureux for more information.)
  • Efforts will be made to limit large gatherings by varied groups of students and we will do all we can to keep kids physically distanced.
  • We will have staggered arrival and dismissal times. Students will report to their homeroom upon arrival.
  • K-8 Students can arrive at 7:55 a.m. and school will start at 8:15 a.m. and end at 3:30 p.m.
  • 9-12 students can arrive at 8:20 a.m. and school will start at 8:40 a.m. and end at 3:45 p.m.
  • We are encouraging parents to bring their children to school so we can limit the number of students riding the buses.
  • We are not planning on having town bus routes for students who live less than two miles from the school building. Some exceptions will be made for younger children, Crestview residents because of F-90, and other unique circumstances, but we will limit the number of students on the bus and strongly encourage parents to bring students to school if at all possible.
  • Students will be expected to wear a mask (except for certain situations) while riding on school buses to protect each other as well as our bus drivers.
  • At this time, we will not require students to wear masks in the building, but we encourage and support the wearing of masks. There may be times during the day that we need students to wear masks when physical distancing isn't possible, so all students will be expected to have a mask with them each day.
  • We will require staff to wear masks/face shields when around others.
  • We are planning on lunch being sacked individually and eaten in classrooms or outside. Students should not share lunch items.
  • Students will be with the same cohort of students for the school day and they will be in pods within those cohorts of students to limit exposure as much as possible to COVID-19.
  • We will follow CDC, IDPH, and Dallas County Department of Health guidelines when a positive COVID-19 case occurs.
  • We will have positive cases in our building. Our goal is to limit the spread of COVID-19 as much as possible while doing all we can to maintain a quality learning environment.
  • If a student/staff member is in close contact (less than 6 feet for more than 15 minutes, direct physical contact, or they sneezed or coughed on you) to someone with a confirmed COVID-19 case students/staff will need to quarantine for 14 days.
  • Dallas County Department of Health and the Van Meter CSD will do contact tracing to determine who was in close contact. Only those in close contact will need to quarantine for 14 days, but others could choose to if they believed they were exposed.
  • To limit potential exposure, visitors will not be allowed into the building in most cases unless special arrangements have been made.

The linked document is the rough draft of our three plans. There will be more details available as we get closer to August, but this document should give parents and students a good idea of what we expect school to look like at the start of the year with each potential plan. We have worked with our teachers, student leadership team, and the School Improvement Advisory Committee comprised of parents, teachers, staff, and students to put these plans together. The school board approved our plans at our July School Board Meeting last night.

We will be sending out a survey for families to complete to help us finalize our plans. Please complete this survey in a timely manner. The week of July 20, we will create an FAQ from the results of the survey. We will share that FAQ and try firm up our plans as much as we can the week of July 27. With our first day for students scheduled to be Monday, August 17, we will do our best to keep families informed of any changes to our plans. Expect communication from school staff late in July or early in August with more specific details.

Again, these plans are fluid and could change rather quickly. We will do our best to follow the guidelines of the Iowa Department of Education, the Iowa Department of Public Health, the Dallas County Department of Public Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Please email me at deron.durflinger@vmbulldogs.com if you have any questions.

Summer Office Hours

The District Office is open from 7:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. for essential business in the summer. If you need to conduct business in the office, it is easiest to do it by appointment by emailing Shonna at shonna.trudo@vmbulldogs.com

20-21 School Year Registration

We have attached the online registration procedures. If you have not registered your child(ren) for school, we ask that parents complete student registration ASAP. Registrations are very important in helping us prepare for the upcoming school year. Please take the time to complete it. If you have any questions, email Sandy at sandy.coffin@vmbulldogs.com. She will be able to help you out or to get you connected with the appropriate person.

Thanks for getting your children registered for the next school year and have a great summer.

Mental Health Support

We know and understand that these are challenging times. Everyone's lives have been altered and it is challenging for all of us. If what is being asked of students is requiring too much time, let us know and we will find ways to provide more support or make adjustments to what we are asking kids to do. We just really want to put them in the best position to be successful academically, but we ultimately want to make sure our students are healthy.

Please reach out if your kids are struggling mentally. We have a great team of counselors and they would be glad to provide support if needed.

Jayci Kuhns- Social Worker, jayci.kuhns@vmbulldogs.com

Sara Cook- Elem. Counselor, sara.cook@vmbulldogs.com

Melanie Hopkins- Sec. Counselor, melanie.hopkins@vmbulldogs.com

Athletic Website and Schedules