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MVCSD News Letter from Doug Tuetken 4/27

Maquoketa Valley Parents, In my update to you last week, I stated that I would reach out to share some of our next steps going forward after we have had time to process the cancellation of school by the Governor.  I know that you are fully aware of this, but for my own piece of mind, I do want to reiterate that as we adjust to our “new normal” our best laid plans will continue to be impacted by this virus and we can fully expect future changes to our current changes.  New guidance has been and will continue to flow at a frantic pace from a number of different federal, state and local entities.  This information will impact how we deliver and conduct our educational business for our kids.  So please bear with me, but this is what we know at this time:
  • Our continuous learning plan for our early childhood, primary and elementary children will remain the same.  We will continue to offer literacy, math, writing and emotional/social learning opportunities.  I would like to commend our parents and students for their due diligence with this format.  Our participation rate for most grade levels is running higher than 80%.  This will make our student’s transition back to school easier this fall.  The lesson format will continue through May 22nd.
  • Please know that ALL of our elementary and middle school students will advance to the next grade level when we return this fall.  We are in the process of developing a systematic approach to address missed concepts for all of our students before we fully dive into new learning.  When it lends itself to particular lessons throughout the year, we will provide additional or needed review as we begin these new topics.  Rest assured, we will make every reasonable effort to ensure that all of our students receive the appropriate re-teaching  that will allow them the opportunity to succeed.
  • In May instructors will spend time packing up your child’s items and any snow boots/shoes, etc. and this will be organized by classroom.  Building principals and/or secretaries will be reaching out to you to assign a pick-up time for these items between May 26th through May 29th. We will purposefully assign times so we can adhere to social distancing guidelines.  Those families that have children in multiple centers, we will work to assign a time on the same day so you do not need to make multiple trips on multiple days.
  • When your time is assigned, we would truly appreciate that you also return any computer, hotspot or library books that your student may have borrowed.  We will need to begin the process in June of cleaning and updating the machines and re-organizing our libraries.
  • We will be offering summer school in a similar invite format as in previous years.  Due to the circumstances will be expanding our summer school grade levels from previous years and also the number of students that we traditionally invite. We need to take care of and address our most vulnerable children first.  To meet the needs of all of our students, we will also be offering online summer school lessons taught by our teachers similar to what is currently being offered.  We will make available devices and/or hotspots if this is needed for the online learning.  This gives all of our students an opportunity to stay engaged if a family so desires.  We anticipate starting this programming in mid-July and run this through the first week of August.  Additional details will be forthcoming.
  • There is the potential that our school year may start earlier for all of our students to address learning missed from the 4th quarter.  We continue to work through this process and are waiting for additional guidance from our state and local levels.
  • We have been working with Nurse Mary and the Delaware County Department of Public Health to implement a re-entry plan for this summer as well as this fall to ensure a safe return for all of our children and our staff members.
  • At the secondary level, parents and students should have received an email from Mr. Osterhaus outlining learning opportunities on a daily basis for our middle school students and a process for our high school students to improve their grades if they desire to do so.  Please reach out to Mr. Osterhaus at troyosterhaus@maquoketa-v.k12.ia.us if you have not received this email.
  • Mr. Osterhaus, Mrs. Lown or Mrs. Whittenbaugh will also reach out in May to schedule a time for students to return to school to clean out their lockers and pick up any of their personal items.  We also ask at this time that students return their assigned computers so these can also be cleaned and updated by ITS as well as any athletic equipment and or apparel and media center items student’s may have.
  • Prom is now scheduled for June 6th at the Legion in Delhi from 8:00 till 11:00 with the Grand March to be held in the park prior to the dance.  If the social distancing restrictions have not been lifted by June 6th, Prom and the Grand March will be held on July 3rd at the same time and location.  Post-Prom has been cancelled.  If social distancing restrictions have not listened by July 3rd, Prom will be cancelled.  As the dates approach, additional details will be released.
  • Graduation is scheduled for Sunday June 7th beginning at 4:00 p.m. in the HS Gymnasium.  The ceremony will include an abbreviated Dollars for Scholars program.  If social distancing restrictions are not lifted by June 7th, the alternate date will be July 5th at the same time and at the same location.  If social distancing restrictions have yet to be lifted, we will then organize a parade through all of our communities after we distribute diplomas and our Dollars for Scholar awards.  We will also organize pictures of students, a live virtual broadcast and possibly partnering with KMCH to broadcast the event.  If in fact this happens, this may even be more memorable for our students than our traditional graduation.
To finish up, just a couple of additional items:
  • The Academic Excellence Banquet has been cancelled.  Certificates will be mailed.  The Hopkinton Leader will still run their Academic Excellence edition.
  • National Honor Society Induction has been cancelled.  NHS applications will be reviewed and students who qualify will be notified and will receive the NHS certificate.
  • Spring play has been cancelled but Mrs. DeVore is currently working on a virtual performance pertaining to the pandemic.
  • If students are in need of additional electronic resources the Manchester Public Library is offering a digital library card that would allow you or your child access to these electronic materials.  Please go to https://www.manchesterlibraryia.org/get-a-card to secure your card.
My guess is that you will be hearing from me again next week as our planning continues. As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to me or one of our staff members if you have any questions and please stay safe! Doug