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MVCSD News Letter from Doug Tuetken 4/6

Dear Maquoketa Valley Parents, I hope this message finds all of you healthy and well. I think we can all agree that the last several weeks may of been some of the most difficult that we have ever endured as a school community. Yet despite our circumstances, I am heartened by all of our efforts by our staff, parents and students to make the best of this situation. One of the issues that we have wrestled with the most is how to ensure that our students continue their learning during this time and still ensure that safety remains our top priority. After receiving guidance from the Iowa Department of Education, constantly communicating with our Area Education Association, and with our Administrative Team and Board of Directors, our district will continue to provide academic engagement activities tied to new learning.  Due to the fact that we have students that are now working to help support their families, we have students working to earn money themselves, we have students providing childcare for their siblings, we have parents working and are unable to provide a consistent level of learning support for their children, we have teachers now taking care of their children throughout the day and in the coming weeks we may have parents and teachers contract this virus and if this occurs, we want those individuals to take care of themselves first.  Knowing that other circumstances also exist, Maquoketa Valley has chosen a voluntary educational enrichment opportunities path for our students.  Even though this is voluntary, we highly encourage those students, families,  and other caregivers to take advantage of this learning while students are at home. By now you should of received an email by one of our Principals (Ann, Brenda or Troy) outlining our district’s learning approach for our elementary and secondary students.   I want to be clear, if you have any questions regarding this process, please reach out to any of us and also do not hesitate to reach out to your child’s teacher(s).  We are all here to help you and your child.  Also, if you are having any issues with internet availability, please reach out.  We have partnered with some local agencies to help provide these connection services if they are truly needed. After the Governor’s recommendation yesterday to extend school closures to April 30, we have decided to close our buildings and outside facilities except for those essential services (building care, business procedures)  and this includes our food service program so we can continue to provide meals to our children. To finish up, just a couple of new reminders that we have previously discussed:
  • Please know that since we are offering new learning and engagement academic activities, we will not have to make up any hours or days that we have missed at this time.
  • With our return date now set for May 1st, all of those events scheduled before this time period have been postponed.  This includes events such as  prom, fine arts, athletic and Booster Club events.  The Iowa High School Athletic Associations has also suspended activities until April 30th.  Decisions regarding events scheduled after the 30th will be determined at a later date as the Governor continues to make decisions regarding our return date.
  • As parents, when your students do get together, please remind them to practice social distancing protocols.  Per Governor’s order, no groups larger than 10.
  • If you are in need of childcare please reach out to Katie Pfeiler at St. Joseph Childcare Center in Earlville.  Her office number is 563-923-2068.  Our district will continue to partner with Katie in case their center needs additional help or needs to expand to Earlville Elementary.
  • If you would like to participate in the lunch program, please contact Laurie Kramer at lauriekramer@maquoketa-v.k12.is.us.
  • If your family or either of you know of any family that could use food assistance, please call Delaware County Pay It Forward at 563-447-0099.
We know that you have many questions about how this extended school closure will impact all of us.  We will continue to work with the Iowa Department of Education, Iowa’s Area Education Agencies, and our neighboring districts to uncover answers. One thing is for certain, however; we are all in this together and we will find the answers that makes sense for our kids and families given these unprecedented times. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have questions. Doug