Alta-Aurelia community school district return to school plan

Friday, July 17, 2020

Dear Parents,

First, let me thank you for your support and understanding as we, as a nation and community, responded to the unexpected invasion of COVID-19 in March. I am very proud of the way our Alta-Aurelia School District students, parents, employees, and community leaders handled the demands we were faced with to protect everyone as we continued to educate and feed our students during the most unusual of circumstances. As you know, there continues to be concerns and questions related to how schools plan to reopen in August 2020. While we are in the business of educating, our first priority is the safety of our students and our employees. Be assured, we have been working on our Alta-Aurelia† 2020- 2021 Return to Learn Plan. Our desire is to return to school as normal (traditional) with enhanced safety and cleaning procedures. However, we must be proactive and be prepared during these ever-changing times to continue educating our students if and when circumstances change, as predicted, throughout the year related to the health and safety of our students and employees.

Administrators have been planning for increased safety procedures that can be taken at every location. These are the three types of learning scenarios we are prepared for this fall. As it stands today, we will move forward with the first option.†

1. Enhanced Traditional Plan- We would continue school as normal with enhanced safety precautions in place such as increased hand sanitizer availability, increased frequency of cleaning of high touch areas, limited visitation to campuses, etc., in order to possibly prevent the transition to a hybrid or full distance learning option. (Again, this is our plan for August pending more restrictive guidance from the Iowa Department of Education or Governor Reynolds)

2. Social Distancing/Hybrid Plan- Hybrid would be a combination of distance and face-to-face instruction with increased safety and disinfecting measures as listed above, which could be done in a variety of configurations. This would only happen if the social distancing order of 6 feet and no groups assembling with more than 10 people were to come into play from Governor Reynolds.(The governor has loosened these restrictions)†

3. Full Distance Learning Plan- All students would participate in the learning of new material, continued standard pacing, interactive lessons, graded assignments, and assessments. This would no longer be voluntary to students.This would be enacted if Governor Reynolds closed schools again due to health concerns.†

I encourage our parents to frequently visit our webpage and follow our social media for up to date and accurate information. There are many false rumors being disseminated which leads to unnecessary confusion. Everyone must understand there is no way for us to please all as we make these decisions. Our priority is to keep everyone safe while not making life more difficult for our parents. Each family situation is uniquely different. We fully understand your varied concerns about health and safety, distance learning, the importance of face-to-face instruction, parents needing to work, the economy, and all of the other unexpected consequences of not being in school or being in school in a traditional method. If for some reason, we canít be in a traditional school situation, our goal is to find the best way to have our students safely in our buildings as frequently as possible to ensure the health and well-being of all.

As we move forward, we are also taking into consideration that we have medically compromised students. Parents of students with a higher risk of severe illness can contact their school administration, if needed, before school begins in August. We will have a two week summer session beginning August 3rd for a small number of students that have been contacted. This session will run two weeks, M-Th from 9 a.m.-noon. As we continue the Alta-Aurelia 2020-2021 Return to Learn planning process, we will keep you updated. Thank you for your continued support and positivity as we strive to do what is best for ALL of our students and employees during these challenging times.