November 10, 2020
Good evening BCSD Parents/Guardians,
Today, the 14-day running COVID-19 positivity rate has reached 22.4% for Scott County. When we began school in August, this rate was a little over 6%. This percentage has been increasing since the start of October but has increased rapidly over the past two weeks.In addition, student and staff absenteeism continue to rise.
As a District, we are committed to implementing and adhering to mask-wearing, social distancing, hand washing, and rigorous sanitizing protocols to keep our students and staff as healthy and safe as possible. While adherence to these mitigation strategies is consistent, we are beginning to experience a shortage of guest staff, which makes staffing classrooms difficult.
On July 30, 2020, the Iowa Department of Education, in consultation with the Iowa Department of Public Health, released the Return to Learn: Reopening Iowa's Schools guidance. This document outlined potential mitigation strategies schools may consider based upon community transmission of COVID-19. At this time, with our County’s 22.4% positivity rate, our County is in the >20% Substantial Uncontrolled Zone. When in this zone, schools may consider applying to the Department of Education for a waiver for “temporary continuous/remote learning for an entire school building or district for up to 14 days”.
We continue to consult with the Scott County Health Department, Iowa Department of Public Health, and the Iowa Department of Education regarding the safety of our staff and students.Our ultimate goal is to remain open and operate in a hybrid learning model.We will continue to monitor staff and student absenteeism, quarantine numbers, and the number of positive cases on a daily basis.If we find, as a District, that we are unable to hold classes due to high absenteeism of staff and/or students, we will work with the Board of Education and the Department of Education to consider the need to apply for a waiver to move into 100% remote learning for 14 school days.
On behalf of our Board of Education and our district, I want to thank everyone for the support and commitment you have shown to keep all our students safe inside our school walls. As our community numbers continue to increase, please remember to stay safe and take precautions outside of school when interacting with family members and friends. Masking up, both in school and in social settings outside of school; socially distancing; washing our hands; and staying home when sick will help us all get through this difficult time and assist in bringing our positivity numbers down.