As you have heard me say before let’s, “Keep Moving Forward”. There is only one more week of February left and three weeks until Spring Break, believe it or not. We are coming to the end of the winter sport seasons. Congratulations to all of our programs for navigating through all of the challenges with COVID over the last four months. Our coaches, athletes, and fans have really done a great job of keeping everyone safe.
We are still making plans to offer programming for students that have fallen behind academically over the last year. Right now, we are working on plans for summer school, after school academic options for the fall of 2021, as well as considering other options that will help our students to get back on track academically. One of the biggest challenges with this programming will be getting the students to participate in these options after a very challenging year for all. Which is why we will need summer and fall options for our students.
I came across some statistics that I want to share about education in Iowa. Even considering we are in a Pandemic, Iowa is number one in the nation for the graduation rate. We are top three in the nation for ACT scores for states that test more than 50% of the students. We are number one in the nation in college credits received per student before high school graduation. Those are some impressive facts and they are reflected in the students that graduate from Monticello high school every year.
Looking at our COVID numbers this week we are continuing in the right direction. Jones County Public Health reports that the 14-day positivity rate for Jones County has dropped to 5.7% this week. In Monticello, the 14-day positivity rate has also dropped to 4.4%. We have had two positive COVID cases in the last 7 days in Monticello. Our situation continues to improve and we are so much better than we were in November.
Our updated school numbers for this week are as follows:
1. We currently have four students and no staff in isolation (these people have tested positive for COVID or are showing COVID symptoms) and approximately one student and no staff in quarantine (these people have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, not necessarily at school). That is less than 1% of our student body and less than 1% of our staff that is out for COVID-19 related reasons.
2. We still have several students participating in online learning. As of today, we have approximately 103 prek-12 students participating in full online learning or hybrid online learning. That is approximately 10% of our student body taking one or more online courses. The number of online learners has dropped again this week. If you are considering coming back to in-person learning, please contact your principal. Given the context of very low community and school spread, it would be a good time for your child to return to in-person learning if you are considering that option.
That is it for this week. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and please continue to be safe!!!
Dr. Brian Jaeger, Superintendent