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MVCSD News Letter from Doug Tuetken 6/23

Maquoketa Valley Parents, This will be my final update for the 19 – 20 school year.  As we continue down our path to a normal routine, I wanted to provide one last update of how the relaxing of restrictions has affected our district as we modify and then offer a portion of our activities for the remainder of the summer and how we are preparing for this fall.
  • Summer Sports Programs – As you are aware, high school baseball and softball began practice on June 1st and game competition began on the 15th.  Coaches continue to work with Mr. Arnold and Nurse Mary for temperature taking, social distancing, proper hygiene etiquette during practice and games, and sanitizing equipment on a regular basis.   With social distancing guidelines for our student-athletes, we implemented the use of our bleachers for our student-athletes during games and practices. We continue to ask that if anyone that is feeling ill or has a temperature, to please stay away from the ball diamonds.  We are also politely reminding that parents refrain from attending practices.  Please know that we appreciate those that continue to support the protocols that we have implemented.
  • Open Gyms, Music Lessons and Weight Training – Open gyms are also allowed by the Athletic Associations as long as County Public Health recommendations are being followed.  This past week we began open gyms.  Coaches are checking temperatures before our student-athletes enter school facilities.  Only 12 students can participate at a time.  Students are required to bring their own water bottle and hand sanitizer. Students are to adhere to the 6 foot physical distancing requirements and equipment used by students will be sanitized after each session.  Individual or small group music lessons have not yet begun.  When Mr. Ford begins lessons he will also adhere to similar guidelines.  On July 1st weight room guidelines will be released.  Once those guidelines are released the district will develop protocols so we can have our students return to their training regiments as soon as we possibly can.
  • Prom – Due to County Public Health recommendations we are unable to hold this event and follow the required social distancing guidelines.  We regret to inform you but Prom has been cancelled.
  • Summer Food Service Program – We will be continuing our Monday and Wednesday food service distribution until July 29th.  We will still be distributing to any students 18 and under until the 29th.  Our distribution sites will remain at Delhi, Earlville and Johnston Elementary.
  • Summer School – Elementary Summer School will begin on July 13th. The program will run Monday through Thursday for 3 weeks. With current social distancing guideline restrictions for transportation we really appreciate those parents that are able to transport or make arrangements for their child’s transportation to school. Following County Public Health’s recommendations, we will be implementing temperature checks before students enter school and will be taking time to re-teach our students how to wash hands effectively, how to use proper sneezing and coughing etiquette and how we will need to practice physical distancing.  We will also be sanitizing desks, tables, sinks, and restrooms frequently. As the July 13th date approaches Ms. Becker and Mrs. Frasher will be providing additional information.
  • Return to Learn – The district has finalized our Return to Learn plan for this fall.  As you are aware, we created 3 different plans to address possible scenarios for our students’ return this fall.  This includes an 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.  From the survey that was completed by parents and instructors earlier this summer, if we are required to implement an online platform, we will be using Google Classroom for all levels. With input from staff members, Mrs. Becker, Mrs. Frasher  and Mrs. Moorman have been crafting our faculty online training to help in our online delivery and engagement to and with our students. In our online model, our instructors would be teaching their online classes from the school.  We will be crafting individual plans to meet the learning needs for those students that need additional support.
If we are forced into a hybrid model due to physical distancing requirements our plan is to bring all of our PK – 6th grade students to school.  The reason for this is twofold.  First, we understand how difficult it would be for working parents to secure and also afford childcare on a continuous or every other day basis.  Second, we also understand how important it is to create a structured setting on a daily basis with the child’s teachers, associates and classmates.  We are fortunate that our local churches in our communities would partner with our district to help us provide additional learning space for all of our PK- 6th grade students in order to adhere to reasonable physical distancing.  In our hybrid model, due to classroom schedules at our secondary level, students would have to continue their learning with our online platform. The exception to this would be for those smaller specialized classes. These classes may be held on campus. Students with individual learning plans may also be asked to attend school. Transportation is still an unknown.  If we have to practice the physical distancing on our buses, it will be difficult for us to have a normal day when we are only able to transport 11 to 13 students on a bus.  Cheryl Gates and Morgan Manternach may be reaching out in July to our parents whose children use district transportation to determine which parents could possibly find a way to get their children to and from school.  We realize that not all parents would have this ability but if enough parents are able to transport their children, this would hopefully allow us to use our available buses to transport those students that are unable to be transported by their parents. By reducing bussing numbers, we may be able to transport those in need and still start classes at 8:00 a.m. for all of our students.  Obviously our  hope is that we will be able to begin this August with all of our students. As a part of our Return to Learn plan we had to sign off on a number of assurances.  If you are curious, our Return to Learn assurances will be posted on our district webpage sometime in the very near future.
  • 2020 – 2021 School Calendar –  We will begin classes with our students on August 12th.  Since we do not have air conditioning at Delhi, classes from August 12th till August 21st will be held from 8:00 till 1:05 in all centers.  Teachers will then use the remainder of the day to participate in our online training for our students.  Everyone felt that it was most important to get our kids back to school as soon as we possibly could.
  • Sleep In Heavenly Peace – Recently a group of volunteers in Delaware County came together to build, assemble and deliver top-notch bunk beds to any of our children in Delaware County that do not have their very own bed or may be sleeping on a couch, chair or the floor.  If you know of any child or family in need of a bed, please have them contact me at dstuetken@gmail.com or Keith Kramer at 563-920-6256.
  • Thank You – Finally, I would like to give a huge shout out to the Dollars for Scholars Board of Directors as well as Mr. Osterhaus and Mrs. Whittenbaugh for our Dollars for Scholars program and Graduation ceremony. It was a little warm but it was a great day for our students and their families.
If you have any questions, please reach out to Mr. Dave Hoeger.  He will begin at MV on July 1st. Thanks, Doug