update from 11/10/2020: FMCSD has been given approval for virtual learning until after Thanksgiving break.
The FMCSD has applied to the Iowa Department of Education for permission to enter into the state approved required virtual learning model beginning Wednesday, November 11, 2020. The Iowa Department of Education processes applications based on county positivity rates in addition to staff and student absenteeism rates over the past 14 days. The Iowa Department of Education set a metric in August based upon a recommendation from the Iowa Department Public Health at 20% from the county or counties in which the district resides. If a district resides in more than one county, the county with the highest positivity rate is used. The FMCSD resides in three counties: Lee, Henry and Des Moines. Late last week, Des Moines county hit a positivity rate of 20%. Henry County has risen to 19.5% and Lee County has risen to 18.8% and all expected to climb.
The Department of Education also looks at student and staff absenteeism rates that are increasing or have hit 10%. FMCSD student absenteeism rates have risen to the ranges between 1% -7% and staff absenteeism rates have risen to the ranges between 1%-6%.
The FMCSD has also collaborated with the Lee County Health Department regarding the rise in the positivity rates. The LCHD is in full support of the district’s application.
The FMCSD will begin 100% required virtual learning on Wednesday, November 11, 2020 through Tuesday, November 24, 2020. Per the current district calendar, Thanksgiving break begins Wednesday, November 25, 2020. Face to face learning will resume on Tuesday, Dec. 1 following the Thanksgiving holiday.
The safety of our staff and students continues to be the highest priority in the FMCSD. We are hopeful that this mitigation effort will help reduce the rates and health risks of our school district community.
Dr. Erin M. Slater
Superintendent of Schools