This is an update more about what we DON'T know, than what we DO know. Should be fun!
What is happening with going back to school?
We are still operating under the assumption of an April 14 resume date. There are federal guidelines that now indicate shut down until April 30. However -- the STATE guidelines are what we need to observe.
Governor Reynolds has not formally extended our shut down at this time or issued state home-quarantine orders. However the state is watching the data very closely and will make decisions accordingly.
She has given indications that a decision regarding schools will come by the end of this week. It is also possible they actually break the guidelines down to smaller sections of the state (i.e. one part of the state can do this, another can do that).
COVID-19 modeling software would indicate that Iowa will not peak in cases until the April 18 vicinity.
Tomorrow, Wednesday, April 1, is the next pick up and delivery date for homework. This delivery will have the work for the next 1.5 weeks. See schedule below. Once again:
Have your students verify their name is on all their work. This is especially important in middle and high school as the work gets separated out of their folders to the individual teachers.
Set the work in a dry location for a no-contact pick up.
Exercise an abundance of caution by washing your hands after picking up the new assignments and allow them to sit at room temperature for 24 hour wait period before delving into that wonderful new load of learning.
Schedule for next school-at-homework:
This delivery will include 6 days of work.
Work days of April 2, 3 and April 6, 7, 8 and 9.
Days Off are April 1 (let the work self-sanitize), April 10 and 13 for Easter Break.
IF SCHOOL DOES NOT RESUME on April 14, the next delivery would be April 15. Guidance on April 14 and 15 would come next week.
Thoughts and encouragement:
We received quite positive feedback at conference time on the work levels, especially for elementary students. We understand that as this draws out, the novelty of it wears off and perspectives may change -- and that parents have a host of responsibilities, especially during stressful times. The staff is doing their best to provide the appropriate levels of work to maintain what has been taught as well as offer some progress, both in the hopes of making next school year as normal as possible! We encourage:
setting scheduled school time within the home
staying in contact with your teacher(s)! They are there for your student!
remind especially your older students that these are still essentially "school days" and their jobs still need to work around their schoolwork - not vice versa.
May is graduation month!
It is! And we hope so much that it still can be. This is such a large unknown for all of us yet.
This is not how we foresaw the end of your last year going either. We will do our best to provide you as special of an experience as we can given the circumstances. IF school cannot resume in April, we will provide you an end date of your required at-home work. We will also continue to plan according to the event size-limit possibilities and other pertinent restrictions timelines for your special event of graduation.
Kindergarten and 8th Grade:
Here also we still do not have enough information to make any definite decisions.
We hope to know more from the state in the next week what the next month or more will look like for schools and all the business opening modifications at large. The School Board plans to have a Zoom conference-based meeting next Tuesday night and will work with what data is available at that time.
It does appear unlikely that graduations will be able to be held at the normal time in the normal way. But we do not know. However, we advise that you do not compromise any social distancing guidelines at this time to try prepare. Especially things like decorations will become secondary in whatever short term planning time we will actually have.
In thought of the catechism and chapel messages that we are missing, Rev. Witvoet will be giving a message Wednesday evening, April 1 at 7:30. This will be available through both Rock Valley and Sioux Center's church access methods. The website and phone number information for those can be found on a previous post on this site.
Face Masks Update:
Here are a few questions some of you had: 1. Should we be putting nose pieces in? They said no for now, when an employee receives a mask, then they can personalize it to fit them. 2. Do you plan to put filters in the masks or wear them over top of other masks? If it comes to this, they might put filters in the mask or wear the masks over top of an N95 mask to help preserve them. 3. Do you have a size preference? Not really, if you are not sure what size to make, you could make larges and they could be tightened to be a medium size. 4. What is the goal? When would we be done? How will we know? The goal now is to have each clinic nurse have a couple and long term care facilities to have some as well. This is all evolving as COVID becomes more prominent. We don't know when we will be done, depends on how many they receive. So far, they have 1,000. Avera will let us know when we can stop making masks. 5. Where will these be used at? For first in clinics and long term care facilities and potentially in hospitals if supplies get low. So far, we have delivered 310 face masks to Sioux Falls! Some of the masks that were delivered to the Post's garage are going to Prince of Peace in Sioux Falls today. As for now, Avera would like to thank everyone for their efforts thus far. Please continue to make masks and help out in this area of need. Drop off can be
- Sandra Post's garage at 2847 Elmwood Ave Rock Valley
- Anita Fluit at 1948 240th St by Inwood
- Mandy Vande Berg at 3454 Fig Ave between Sioux Center and Rock Valley.
NICSTO scholarships deadline is tomorrow, Wednesday, April 1. Feel free to fax or e-mail them in as well! We are so thankful to have these funds available to help you!