ICCSD updates on COVID-19

On March 19, the ICCSD released new information regarding meal pick up centers, health services and online education throughout the COVID-19 district-wide closure.

Marta Leira, News Editor

On March 19 the ICCSD sent an email to parents and staff updating them on district procedures regarding COVID-19.

“We continue to navigate these uncharted waters,” Director of Community Relations Kristen Pedersen said in a press release.“It is critical that we support the health, safety, and well-being of our staff and students during this uncertain time.”

In addition to canceling classes through April 12, 2020, beginning March 19, 2020,istrict schools, buildings, and grounds will remain closed to the public until further notice. This closure includes the cancellation of all activities and any events held at buildings including Before and After School Programming.

In an attempt to facilitate social distancing to reduce the threat of COVID-19 spread, the district is directing all employees to work remotely and asking that both staff and community members alike avoid visiting district buildings during this time.

“While we recognize this could create an inconvenience, the safety of our students, families, staff, and the greater community is of primary importance.” Pedersen said.

According to Pedersen, these decision were made after great consideration following the guidance published earlier this week by Governor Kim Reynolds in her State of Public Health Disaster Emergency

While we recognize this could create an inconvenience, the safety of our students, families, staff, and the greater community is of primary importance.”

— Kristen Pedersen, Director of Community Relations

The email also announced that student guardians will be allowed access to school buildings on Monday March 23 from 2-4pm and Tuesday, March 24, from 8-10 am to retrieve student medications, however building access will not be granted for any other purpose. 

The district also announced that it will follow the guidance of the Iowa Department of Education, and not be switching to an online instruction format, as students cannot be required to participate in online learning. 

“Teachers will not be creating instructional programming, sending home assignments, or providing feedback to students during this school closure.” Pederen said.

The district’s Helpdesk is expected to remain open throughout the school closure. Additional information regarding this process will be provided to all district families and staff at a later date. 

“The intention of providing technology to all students is to offer access to resources as equitably as possible, taking into consideration the needs of students of all socio-economic backgrounds, disability status, and primary language.” Pedersen said.

In addition to providing for technology access, the district will soon publish a curated resource page to support students and families of different ages and abilities.

According to Pedersen, the district understands there are concerns for students enrolled in AP courses, and concurrent courses, such as Comp 1 and 2 and PLTW courses, that are tied to college credit. The College Board will be releasing more information on AP testing options on Friday, which we hope will provide more direction. The district has also reached out to Kirkwood Community College regarding their policy but is awaiting response.

“At this point, the district is directing teachers to refrain from offering continued instruction in these and all courses.” Pedersen said.  

School-based therapy services, however, such as Four Oaks and Child Serve will continue to provide services to students through telehealth or in-office appointments. Four Oaks and Child Serve will contact families directly to make such arrangements.  

Additionally, The South East Junior High clinic will remain open. Northwest Junior High and West High will be closing in alignment with the school closures.  The clinic will only take appointments for well children who need vaccines or for routine follow up of chronic problems. Children who are ill with non-respiratory illnesses can be scheduled for appointments. All respiratory illness will be diverted to the UIHC screening system. 

The district also announced it will begin to offer meal pick-up sites. 

The ICCSD has established drive through or walk up meal pick-up locations at a number of district school sites throughout the COVID-19 closure.

Meals will be distributed between 11 am and 1 pm and will provide both lunch for the day and breakfast for the following day. Per USDA federal guidelines, the number of meals will be provided based on the number of children in the car ages 1-18. Children must be present in order for meals to be provided. 

Meals will be available at the following locations throughout the closure: 

City High School

Hills Elementary School

North Central Junior High School 

Northwest Junior High School

Twain Elementary School

West High School

Wood Elementary School

Breckenridge Mobile Home Park

Cole/Thatcher Mobile Home Park

Lakeridge Mobile Home Park

Regency Mobile Home Park

“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve and many individuals have questions that we cannot necessarily answer through our daily communications,” said Pederson.

Pederson encourages families to visit the district’s COVID-19 resource webpage for more information regarding the virus and the districts’ plan.