This has been a very crazy and unpredictable school year in many ways. This week has been no exception. Friday afternoon we received updated guidance from the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) for schools and childcare settings. The guidance from IDPH has continuously changed over the course of the school year, here is a summary of their updated guidance:
- The IDPH has adjusted its guidance to recommend that schools and childcare settings approach COVID-19 like other child illnesses.
- COVID-19 positive and symptomatic children should continue to be excluded (isolated), however, exposed children should no longer be required to stay home, regardless of mask usage.
- Parents should continue to receive notification from schools of an exposure situation to make their own informed decisions regarding risk.
- Schools and Childcare settings should provide parents and students with the option to make their own decision about mask usage.
After much consideration, we will again put our faith in the health care professionals who have been closely studying our situation in Iowa. We will be making masks optional for staff, students, and visitors as of Monday, May 17, 2021. This includes when on school grounds and school busses, both during the school day and after the school day during any activities. With two weeks left to go in the school year it would be very difficult for our staff at various levels to absorb a huge increase in online learners. Our current online learners may continue, however a switch to online learning will only happen under special circumstances (ex. Just switched to in-person learning last week or have a note from a health care provider). If you feel you have a special circumstance, please contact your building principal for guidance.
I thank you for your continued flexibility and continuous support of the Monticello Community School District.
Dr. Brian Jaeger, Superintendent