Welcome back to the 2020-21 school year! It is an understatement to say that this will be a challenging year. There will be many topics that will need to be covered as we prepare for this upcoming year; but the main purpose of this announcement is to make you aware of which Return To Learn (RTL) option the Camanche School District will follow at the beginning of the school year.
It is important to begin this discussion by saying the priority of the school district is to provide everyone with as safe of an environment as possible, while providing our students with a quality learning experience. Given current information available at this time, it is my belief that the plan that best allows us to meet this priority is to start the school year using the Hybrid Learning Option. I believe that this option will allow us to provide the safest environment for everyone, while still complying with the state’s expectations regarding student in-person attendance.
The Hybrid Learning Option is described in detail on the district’s website (www.camanche.k12.ia.us) in the Return to Learn Plan Summary Document. I would encourage everyone to read this document along with the other informational items found on this site. As we move through this process, parent input and feedback will continue to be important.
I believe that it is important to discuss some of the steps the school district has taken to provide a safe environment for students and staff. Our custodial staff has devoted much time this summer to cleaning our buildings and I appreciate their efforts. Once the school year begins they will be focused on cleaning and disinfecting high use areas/objects during the school day, along with cleaning at the end of each day. You may notice that the school district has acquired more equipment and cleaning supplies that will assist in this process. There is now an increase in sanitation stations throughout our buildings that will facilitate hand cleaning through the day. We are also looking to implement a system of temperature checks for everyone entering our buildings. These are just a few examples of steps being taken to meet our safety goals. For more information about all of this, please feel free to consult with your child’s building principal or review the school district’s Pandemic Plan located on our website under the RTL button.
Another important personnel safety question that will need to be answered in the near future will be what the district’s position is regarding face coverings. Up to this point in time, the district’s position has been to “strongly encourage” everyone to wear a face covering while being in contact with people in the district. We are now giving strong consideration to requiring that face coverings be worn when anyone is present in our facilities. We understand that some people may have a valid medical reason for not wearing a face covering and we would work with those individuals to develop an acceptable accommodation. We also understand that this type of requirement could create some challenges with our younger students. A final decision and public announcement about this will be forthcoming soon.
More information about implementing the Hybrid Plan in the Camanche School District will be coming. I’m confident that there will be many more questions needing to be answered and many more conversations needing to take place. In the meantime, I would encourage you to feel free to contact your child’s principal or me with questions, comments, or concerns. On a personal note, I appreciate the words of support so many of you have offered to school staff and me as we have worked through this process. I believe this is another example of what makes Camanche the special place that it is. – Tom Parker