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MVCSD News Letter from Doug Tuetken 6/1

Maquoketa Valley Parents, As we make progress to return to some type of normalcy, I wanted to provide an update of how the easing of restrictions has impacted graduation, Dollars for Scholars, summer sports, prom, summer food service program, elementary summer school,  Return to Learn and our 2020 – 2021 school calendar.
  • Graduation – After multiple discussions with Delaware County Public Health, and with weather permitting, graduation will be held on June 7th at 4:00 at our football/track facility. With current mass gathering and social distancing requirements, graduation outside allows the district to conduct a normal ceremony.  We are politely asking that only family members of our graduates attend the ceremony.  In the abundance of caution, we would encourage those family members who may be ill, 60 or over, or anyone that may have an existing health condition to not attend the ceremony.  We will be providing parking inside the facility for those family members with exposure concerns to view and listen to the ceremony inside of their vehicle.  The gates to our football/track facility will open at 3:00.  The rain date for the Graduation ceremony will be July 5th.
  • Dollars for Scholars – This Dollars for Scholars program will also be a part of our commencement ceremony.  This portion of the program will be streamlined but I think we all understand that we need to take the time to recognize those individuals that have given so generously to this program for our seniors. This portion of the program will begin sharply at 4:00 p.m.
  • Summer Sports Program – As you are aware, high school baseball and softball will begin practice on June 1st and start game competition on June 15th.  Our district has been collaborating with County Public Health to interpret and establish reasonable procedures based on the Department of Education and the Iowa High School Athletic Associations guidance.  This includes procedures for temperature taking, social distancing protocols at practice and games, sanitizing equipment, and revisiting proper hygiene etiquette with our student-athletes.   With social distancing guidelines for our student-athletes, we will be using the bleachers for our student-athletes during games and practices.  Parents and our guests will not be allowed to use the bleachers so we will ask parents and our guests to watch games from the outfield.  We are asking that anyone that is feeling ill or has a temperature, to please stay away from the ball diamonds.  We are also asking politely that parents refrain from attending practices.
  • Prom – Due to the Governor’s proclamation we are still unable to hold this event and follow the required social distancing guidelines.  We are still hoping that this event can be held on July 3rd.  As that date approaches we will let students and parents know if we are able to hold the event.
  • Summer Food Service Program – We will be continuing our Monday and Wednesday food service distribution for the month of June.  We will still be distributing to any students 18 and under.  Our distribution sites will remain at Delhi, Earlville and Johnston Elementary.  Due to income restrictions, we will have to eliminate some of our home deliveries.  But know that the program will continue through June and we do anticipate the program will probably be available through July.
  • Summer School – Elementary Summer School will begin on July 13th. The program will run for 3 weeks. With current social distancing guidelines transportation would not be available.  We are hoping that restrictions will continue to be relaxed so can at least offer transportation to those that truly need the service.  More information will be forthcoming about the program later in June.
  • Return to Learn – The district continues to meet on a regular basis to finalize our Return to Learn plan for this fall.  As you know, we are creating 3 different plans to address possible scenarios of a required online platform, a hybrid delivery if only a portion of our students are able to access our buildings due to social distancing requirements and if we are able to return with all students.  We have established protocols to address learning gaps caused by our early departure from school, define our essential learnings, revise our scope and sequence as well as update our health and safety plans.  We appreciate the feedback we received from our parents, students and staff as this has helped us to craft our plans.
  • 2020 – 2021 School Calendar – Our school calendar for next school year has been approved.  We will begin classes with our students on August 12th.  Our faculty and staff understand the extreme importance for our students to return back into our building as soon as we could possibly do so.  I believe this speaks volumes about our staff’s commitment to our kids.
Finally, I would like to give a huge shout out to Charity Locke and Delma Hardin at Delaware County Public Health. This has not been an easy time for Public Health.  As difficult as this has been for our district, as well as each one of us individually, I can only imagine how hard this has been for this agency to address and interpret all of the proclamations and guidance from federal and state levels.  Just realize that their collaboration with our district has been instrumental in helping us disseminate up to date information. As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions! Doug