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Articles from April 2020

Coronavirus Update: April 3, 2020

Here are the latest updates from the Dubuque Community School District:

As we navigate the new guidance from the Iowa Department of Education and work to gain additional details regarding student learning options, we will continue to move forward with teacher-guided learning opportunities next week as planned. Planning for this learning has been underway for more than a week and is not in response to yesterday’s announcement by the Governor. Moving forward with this optional learning does not lock the district into voluntary or required learning, but allows us to proceed as we wait for more details about the application process from the Iowa Department of Education next week.

Beginning on Wednesday, April 8, middle school and high school teachers will provide optional, teacher-guided learning opportunities for students. Students should login to their district email account after 8 a.m. on Wednesday for information from their teachers on how to access lessons. These optional lessons will be offered in an on-demand format, allowing students to complete the new learning tasks as they are able. Students will communicate with and receive feedback from their teachers during this learning. Students and families should connect with their teachers and principals via email with questions about their learning activities.

For our younger learners in the district, the focus during this time is keeping students learning, engaged and curious. Teachers throughout the district are adding activities for students in Seesaw and they continue to reach out to families via Seesaw, email and phone calls. There are also a variety of worksheets and activities for elementary students in the EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES section of our Coronavirus Webpage. With a higher-than-anticipated demand at meal sites, we ran out of handouts at meal sites today. Copies of today’s handouts will be available at meal sites again on Monday, April 6, for those who were unable to get them today.

Given the difficulty in maintaining the sanitization of playground equipment, and the volume/frequency of contact points on the equipment, all school playgrounds in the district are closed to the public until further notice. This closing comes following a similar decision by the City of Dubuque and a number of other municipalities. While it may be tempting for students to use these areas on nice days, we ask families to refrain from doing so in order to reduce any spread of COVID-19.

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network has developed a new resource for families – a Parent/Caregiver Guide to Helping Families Cope with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). The resource is designed to help families think about how an infectious disease outbreak might affect your family—both physically and emotionally—and what you can do to help your family cope.

Coronavirus Update: April 2, 2020


This afternoon, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds issued an emergency proclamation extending the statewide school closure through April 30. In addition to no school during this time, all activities and events are also cancelled.

The district learned most of the information shared in the Governor’s press conference as it occurred, leaving many questions unanswered and many other points needing clarification.

We understand and share in the frustration of families who have questions and seek additional details – we strive for those details as well. We are working to gain additional information and will share it with you as soon as we can provide accurate, understandable details regarding the shifting guidance we continue to receive.

While many questions remain, be assured that our teams have been planning to serve families knowing that an extension of this closure was a possibility.

Here are a few items we know today:

  • As we shared earlier this week, beginning next Wednesday, middle school and high school teachers will provide optional, teacher-guided learning opportunities for students. We will continue to move forward with this plan while also awaiting guidance from the state to determine whether or not it is feasible to make these opportunities required.
  • For elementary students, teachers are adding activities for students in Seesaw and they continue to engage with students and families via Seesaw, email and phone calls.
  • As always, we will strive to equitably serve the needs of all students in our district by reducing barriers and providing services in order to make learning accessible to all.
  • Regardless of whether the district chooses a voluntary or required method of continuous education, as defined by the state, the requirement to make up instructional time has been waived by the Governor.
  • We have been told the application to select either the voluntary or required option will be available on Monday, April 6, with a due date of Friday, April 10. We will review the application once available to determine the next steps moving forward.
  • We are committed to ensuring that seniors on track for graduation are able to graduate.
  • We will continue to provide no-cost meals for students who need them during this time.

Again, the district learned most of this new information today as it was announced publicly and we know that you will likely have additional questions as well. While we don’t have the answers to many of the questions at this time, we are working to obtain them and will continue to share them in future updates.

These are challenging times, and we know many individuals and families are facing unanticipated pressures. As a district, we are committed to moving through these times with you and are always committed to supporting the health, safety and education of our students.

Stay safe and stay healthy.

Coronavirus Update: April 1, 2020

Here are the latest updates from the Dubuque Community School District:

The second phase of educational materials developed by the district’s Educational Support Team are now available on our website. This week’s resources again include Suggested Learning Resources + Activities and a Social Emotional Learning Guide, with the addition of a variety of Student Handouts and Worksheets for this week. There are resources available for elementary, middle and high school students. Each guide again includes suggested activities, accommodations to assist learners of all levels, and links to a variety of helpful suggested online tools.

Printed copies of these packets will be available at meal delivery sites this Friday, April 3.

VIEW EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES on our Coronavirus Webpage to access these materials.

We remain committed to assisting our students requiring special education during this closure and we have developed our educational resources to include accommodations for learners at all levels. While the district is not requiring instruction during this closure, and therefore not providing Individualized Education Program (IEP) services, special education teachers are continuing to reach out to their students and families to provide support in navigating district resources and helping keep students engaged in learning. If your child is eligible for special education services and you have not yet been contacted by their special education teacher, please feel free to reach out to the teacher or building principal for support.