As we move closer to the first day “back to school”, our teams are continually working to make our return one that is safe, intentional, and thoughtful. I want to share my thanks to all our staff in a brief video message below.
We do have some updates to share on a number of topics that have been points of discussion over the last several days.
The Return to Learn Plans are complete and available online. Thank you to everyone who has played a part in this important undertaking!
Return to Learn Hybrid (meaning we are starting with students online and in-person)
The Return to Learn plans will be presented to the Board on Monday, August 3 at a Special Board meeting. We are planning to recommend to the Board that we begin the school year in our hybrid model, allowing for parent/family choice. We will stay in that model until data and information dictates that we make a change.
Staff Town Hall
This will be another opportunity for staff to ask questions about our Return to Work plans. Please fill out the form ahead of time with any questions you may have that haven’t been discussed or answered in the FAQ.
When: Aug 4, 2020 01:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
Topic: Waukee Return to Learn Staff Town Hall
Webinar ID: 978 5740 8335
Proposed Calendar Modification to Begin the 2020-2021 School Year
As we think about the significant number of changes that will be occurring to start the school year, we plan to put a proposed, revised calendar in front of the Board on Monday night, August 3rd. The proposed changes will be to have Monday, August 24th as a staff only day as well as Friday, August 28th. Additional details of the “why” behind the proposed calendar changes:
Certified staff are receiving professional learning to start the year on Canvas (a Learning Management System), the use of devices in a 1:1 learning environment, mitigation strategy training, and more. By having Monday with no students, we are providing an additional day of preparation for staff members to start the school year. The concept of Friday without students is to have school for a few days and then a day to reflect and make adjustments before we begin what will then be the first full week. It is worth keeping in mind that it is unlikely we will have a snow day this year. If we do have inclement weather, we can count the day of school by temporarily transitioning to our continuous learning model. Thank you in advance for your support of this important improvement to our start to the school year.
How will COVID-19 Be Handled
The Iowa Department of Education shared yesterday guidance for schools to follow when a positive COVID test is confirmed in a school building. The district will work with local health officials to determine the appropriate next steps and more specific information will be coming for our staff and families as to how students will continue in their learning.
Students of Staff Members in Schools
We are planning to offer a one-year option for staff members to have their K-7th grade child/ren attend the school in which they work for the 2020-21 school year. If you are choosing this option, you will be responsible for transportation for your child/ren. Because the deadline for open enrollment has passed, this is only available for students of staff members in the district. The exception being a kindergarten student from another district as that open enrollment deadline has not yet passed for this school year. Please fill out the form above by Wednesday, August 5, if you are interested in this option. If you have a kindergarten child and are considering open enrollment, those forms are available on the district website.
Dumpsters (multiple) will begin arriving on August 17 to our buildings. Dumpsters will be onsite through that Thursday and will start to disappear on Friday the 21st. Our operations staff will monitor the dumpsters and in the event, they start getting full, we will have mid-week emptying. It is the responsibility of the staff member to remove items and take them to the dumpsters. This is in support of expectations of removal of items that are in classrooms that will create additional space and move out difficult to clean items/surfaces.
Nutrition Guidelines-Cashless and Touchless
This year, to ensure an added level of safety for our nutrition staff, we will not be accepting cash in our cafeterias. We will, however, accept cash/check at the district office or school building offices for those families and students who don’t have access to the internet or online banking. What this means is you must have an account in RevTrak to deposit money to purchase meals or a la carte items within our buildings. To ensure an added level of safety for our students, our SchoolCafe app will be used to access menus and for touchless transactions at the secondary buildings. An account needs to be set up by the secondary students who have smartphones to access a barcode to be scanned when checking out in the cafeteria line. Pin pads will still be available for those without smartphone access. The elementary cafeteria point of sale will be touchless for all students.
Thank you very much for your continued patience as we work through options for our staff to return safely to our buildings.