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The Melcher-Dallas Board of Directors has a vacant position to fill due to a resignation.
If you are interested in being considered for the position please contact Deb Haselhuhn at haselhuhnd@melcher-dallas.k12.ia.us

Melcher-Dallas CSD

 

 

Dear Families –

In June, the MDCSD Board of Directors approved our Return to Learn plan. Since that time, there have been many notable adjustments to health recommendations, Governor proclamations, and Iowa Department of Education guidelines. At a special board meeting August 5th, the MDCSD Board of Directors approved adjustments to our Return to Learn Plan. The Board and district continue to be committed to our families, students, and staff to create a safe learning environment while also continuing to maximize learning opportunities for all of our students.

I am confident our Melcher-Dallas community will come together to support our students and continue to model our MD pride and family approach. 

Below you will find the highlights of our return to learn plan, but before I get into the plan, please know that we want students back in our buildings to the extent possible. We recognize the difficulties placed on families when we are not physically present at school and the importance academically, socially and emotionally of having students in our buildings. Also please know that these plans can change. There are still discussions taking place at the state level between legislators and the Department of Education that could cause us to shift our plans. In addition, we continue to monitor best practice from local, state, and federal health experts. 

We realize these plans create some difficulties for families in terms of planning and providing for childcare when we are in remote situations, which is why we want to get this information to you as soon as possible. It is important for each family to plan for all three scenarios described in the plan, as we may need to pivot from one to the other with little advanced notice. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call or email me.

Take care and be safe,

Scott Bridges




RETURN TO LEARN PLAN HIGHLIGHTS

Our plan consists of three possible scenarios. I will first describe each scenario and then provide information on mitigation efforts, personal protective equipment, meals and transportation. I recognize this information will raise many questions and would ask that you please communicate your questions with us here at school so we can address them in a timely and respectful manner.


SCENARIO 1: FULL ATTENDANCE WITH FAMILY CHOICE

In this scenario, we plan to bring all students back to school but provide families with the choice to participate in-person or remotely. Students will be in attendance every day of the week, with Wednesday being a 90-minute early-out. Masks are required for all students, staff and visitors.

This plan allows us to serve families who prefer in-person instruction at school and families that prefer to keep their children home. When school starts on August 25th, this is the plan we will be using.


SCENARIO 2: HYBRID PLAN

This scenario gives us the opportunity to better provide for social distancing. In this scenario all students would be assigned as “A Day” students or “B Day” students. A’s would come to school on Mondays and Tuesdays and B’s on Thursdays and Fridays. Wednesdays will alternate every other week between A day and B day. We will communicate with families at the beginning of the week via JMC messenger which group will attend that Wednesday. 

All children in a family would be either A or B. No family would have 1 child attending A days and another child attending B days. We will communicate with families soon on whether they are A day or B day.


SCENARIO 3: REMOTE LEARNING

In this scenario all students would be required to do their learning remotely. Voluntary remote learning is no longer an option. Before students return, our teachers will be trained how to teach in a virtual setting so they are comfortable with technology and distance instruction. 


TECHNOLOGY

The district has made huge improvements in technology over the summer. We have purchased software that teachers can use in the classroom but will also be effective in a remote learning scenario. We also increased the number of wireless access points in the building and increased our bandwidth. This will help with connectivity and speed, especially due to the increased number of devices.

The district has also made significant hardware purchases. In the past, we were one-to-one with computers in grades 7-12. We will now be one-to-one in grades K-12. The new devices will not be here until the middle of September due to computer shortages, but as soon as they arrive, we will be ready to go. 

Students in grades 7-12 will be allowed to take their computer home on a daily basis. Students in grades K-6 will only take their computer home if we are in a remote learning scenario. 


SYNCHRONUS VS ASYNCHRONUS LEARNING

Virtual synchronous learning means that students will be doing video sessions with the teacher and other students in the classroom from home. 

Asynchronous learning means that students will be working from home but not virtually. Students may be given packets or other types of activities to complete on their own. 

We expect that if we are in a remote learning scenario, students will be working in a synchronous setting to the extent possible. We will do our best to help families with connectivity to the internet, but there may be situations when that is not possible, and students will be required to do more asynchronous learning activities. 


CLEANING PROTOCOLS

In order to mitigate the spread of the virus, we are implementing the following protocols.

  • Buildings will be deep cleaned and disinfected daily at the end of the day in order to be ready for students the following day.
  • Custodians will disinfect high touch areas throughout the day.
  • Custodians and teachers will sanitize the classroom during prep periods or during breaks when students are not in the classroom.
  • Families will be asked to monitor temperatures and keep children home if they have symptoms. Children are required to be out 72 hours before returning to school if they have been sick.

OTHER INFORMATION

Face coverings are required except at lunch, recess and during PE. We will be providing facemasks for all students and staff. We are also asking families to help us out by providing their own, as they are able.

  • Students will be distanced in classrooms and other areas to the extent possible. When practicable, desks will be in rows and facing the same direction. 
  • At the JH/HS students will pass from class to class at different times to reduce the number of students in the hallways.
  • Explicit instruction on hand sanitization and wearing of face coverings will be provided to all students.
  • Students will have assigned seats in all classrooms. This will assist in contact tracing.

Meals: The following practices will be utilized to ensure safe feeding of students:

  • Breakfast and lunch will be available to all students every day; regardless of

if they are attending in person or remotely. Families will be asked to indicate whether they intend to take advantage of meals on remote days, much like our summer grab-and-go program.

  • Meals will be served to students. There will be no shared utensils.
  • Checkout will be touchless. Lunch personnel will enter student codes.
  • We have developed schedules that include additional lunch periods to minimize the number of students at lunch at one time.
  • Students eating in the lunchroom will have assigned tables.
  • Tables will be disinfected between lunch groups.

Transportation: It is very difficult to social distance on a school bus. The following measures will be taken to ensure safety of students and drivers on the buses.

  • We will add a second shuttle from the high school to the elementary to reduce the number of students on the shuttle bus.
  • Families will be asked to provide transportation to the extent possible.
  • School busses will be sanitized after each use.
  • Students are required to wear masks on buses and sit with family members when possible. 
  • Students will have assigned seats on the bus to help with contact tracing.
It is the policy of the Melcher-Dallas community School District not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, creed, age (for employment), marital status (for programs), sexual orientation, gender identity and socioeconomic status (for programs) in its educational programs and its employment practices. There is a grievance procedure for processing complaints of discrimination. If you have questions or grievance related to this policy please contact the district’s Equity Coordinator, Mr. Jon Suntken, Elementary Principal/Curriculum Director, Box 489 South Main Street, Melcher-Dallas, Iowa 50163, Ph. 641-947-3731, Fax 641-947-5002, email: suntkenj@melcher-dallas.k12.ia.us