General Updates

Return to Learn Plan Released – 7/20/2020

At last nights’ board of directors meeting, Superintendent Dr. Erin Slater and Director of Curriculum/Instruction and Student Services, Kim Harmon released details regarding a return to learn plan for the first trimester of Fall of 2020.

Based on survey data from families, guidance from the state, and holding the safety of students and staff as a high priority, the FMCSD is planning to return to fall face to face teaching in a hybrid learning model. 

What does FMCSD’s hybrid learning model look like?

Each student in K-12 returning for face to face instruction will be assigned a group, either A or B. Groups will alternate between in person instruction and remote/online instruction on a weekly basis. Students from the same household will be placed in the same group.

Week 1Week 2
Face to face instructionGroup AGroup B
Remote/Online instructionGroup BGroup A

Why did we choose the hybrid model?

Parent survey results indicated that 55.7% of parents preferred a hybrid or on-line only model and 44.2% preferred a face to face only model. The largest concern from all parents was the safety of their children. The hybrid model allows for more social distancing while providing learning in both face to face and on-line formats using the same curriculum.

Can I choose online learning instead of the hybrid model?

Yes. Families may choose 100% online learning for the entire first trimester. 

What does the online only model look like? 

  • Mandatory attendance
  • Mandatory assessments
  • FMCSD teacher and curriculum

For more information please see our Online Learning Plan.

Sign up for this alternative to the hybrid model is available here. Families selecting the online only option will be asked to complete both the standard district registration process and in addition, the Online Learning Sign Up form.

When will I know what group my student is in?

For students in the face to face hybrid learning model, families will be receiving an A/B week schedule in the next two weeks.

Detailed Guidance On Learning Models

Dear Parents and Guardians:

The following information contains additional details about FMCSD’s Return to Learn planning that continues to be reviewed and discussed  for the Fall of 2020.  Please know that our number one priority continues to be the health and safety of students and staff.

The three learning models that Iowa school districts were to plan for are:  Face to Face; 100% On-Line Required Learning, and a Hybrid Learning Model.  Each model is explained below.  

Based upon where we are today, having students back on a regular schedule with face to face instruction is the prefered educational plan.  

Please complete this parent survey after you’ve had an opportunity to review the information below.  We need to gather feedback from you as parents regarding the learning models and how they are best utilized for our students. 

The information below is where we are today and is subject to changes based on guidance from Governor Reynolds, the State of Iowa Department of Education, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the State of Iowa Department of Public Health and the Lee County Department of Public Health.

Thank you for your continued understanding as we work to process guidance, remain flexible in our planning based on data, and continue to work and plan to provide your child with the best possible educational experience.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me or any district or building administrator.  

Sincerely,

Dr. Erin M. Slater

Superintendent of Schools


FACE TO FACE LEARNING MODEL

We anticipate this will be our model to start the school year having all students back in school on August 25 in person.  

With the district in the Face to Face plan, any student will be able to select full online learning as their option for coursework, if desired. 

Increased Cleaning Protocols

We will increase access to cleaning materials for staff and increase the frequency of cleaning public spaces and high touch areas by our custodians in all buildings.

Increased Handwashing

Classrooms may take increased breaks to ensure all students are washing their hands more frequently while at school. 

Hand Sanitizer Availability

There will be increased access to hand sanitizer throughout the buildings for students and staff use.  

Temperature Taking

Students and staff will not have their temperatures screened daily. Parents are strongly encouraged to monitor their child’s temperature daily, and, as always, take precautions and not send students to school when they are not feeling well. Staff should also monitor their temperatures and not report for work if they are not feeling well. Any student or staff member who reports to the nurse’s office and has a fever (above 100.3 degrees) will be sent home immediately.

Water Fountains

Water fountain use will be discouraged. We recommend all students bring their own water bottle (labeled with their name) to use and refill bottles at refill stations.

Face Masks and PPE

Students will be strongly encouraged to wear face masks or face shields. The district will especially encourage mask use during transition times and in hallways. Masks will be provided as available. At this time, all staff will be required to wear masks or face shields while working with students. 

Minor First Aid

Minor first aid such as band aids will be taken care of in classrooms. We hope to reduce the flow of students to the nurse’s office during the school day.

Enter/Exit Protocols

All students will enter and exit through the normal entrances and exits of our buildings. Parents are encouraged to remain in their vehicles when picking up or dropping off students.

Social Distancing (classrooms, hallways, cafeterias)

Every effort will be made to maintain social distancing of students within classrooms, hallways, and cafeterias.

Bathrooms

Classrooms will not visit the bathroom as a group. Instead, small numbers of students will visit the bathroom at appropriate times. This helps reduce congestion of students waiting in the hall during bathroom breaks. 

School Supplies

Sharing of school supplies should be limited. Staff and parents should attempt to ensure all students have their own supplies. In some cases in which sharing is necessary, additional effort will be made to frequently sanitize supplies.

Assemblies/Parent Nights

We are temporarily suspending full building assemblies and parent nights at school buildings. We hope to be able to reintroduce these events later in the school year.  

REQUIRED ONLINE LEARNING MODEL

If the school district is forced to close by the Governor’s proclamation, CDC or Health Department guidance, the district will deploy required online learning for all students. Attendance, grades, assessments and daily work will all be required. 

Required Online Learning will be an option for students and families in a Face to Face learning model.

Learning Management System

Each building has defined a learning management system to facilitate online learning for students. Students in grades 7-12 will continue to use Canvas, while students in PK-6 will use See Saw.   These tools will be used in conjunction with other tools for online learning.

Internet Access

FMCSD will continue to provide Wi-Fi hotspots to allocate to families in need. The district will partner with local organizations to provide locations for Wi-Fi access if we move to 100% Required On-Line learning.

The district is also exploring Wi-Fi buses. Students would not be required to be on the bus to access Wi-Fi. Rather, we would simply park the bus in a location that allows for community access from a distance.

Professional Development

The district has surveyed staff on potential professional development needs and will be conducting a variety of training sessions to ensure staff are ready to support learners in an online environment.

Fall Testing

The district will partner with families to ensure protocols and strategies are implemented to perform fall testing requirements. Our typical fall testing helps us screen students for additional support.

Ensure Teachers Have Proper Tools/Spaces to Teach Online

Our staff will be allowed to teach online from home or from their classrooms. Staff will be able to access district print resources in the building. They are already allocated a computer device for daily use.

Ensure All Students Have Access to a Device

Currently, the district has enough devices for all grade K-12 students. 

Deploying Other Materials

In some cases, print and hard-copy materials will need to be distributed to students. These will be delivered via bus routes, through the postal service or via pick-up services at each building.

 HYBRID LEARNING MODEL 

In the case the Governor declares that school districts must move to less than 100% capacity or the district determines the need for greater social distancing due to an increase in COVID-19 cases locally, the district will incorporate a hybrid model to serve students. This model will allow for students to receive face to face instruction on some days and engage in online learning other days. 

To the greatest extent possible, the district will ensure students in the same families attend on the schedule.

With the Hybrid plan, any student will be able to engage in a full online option for coursework, if desired. 

Grades 9-12 – A/B Sample Schedule

For grades 9-12, students will be placed into A and B groups. On Mondays and Tuesdays, students in group A will come to school for their normal schedule while students in group B are learning online. On Thursdays and Fridays students in group B will attend school for their normal schedule and A day students will learn online. Wednesdays will be deep cleaning days between groups as well as weekends.

Grades 4-8 – A/B Sample Schedule

For grades 4-8, students will be placed into A and B groups. On Mondays and Tuesdays, students in group A will come to school for their normal schedule while students in group B are learning online. On Thursdays and Fridays students in group B will attend school for their normal schedule and A day students will learn online. Wednesdays will be deep cleaning days between groups as well as weekends.

Grades PK-3 – A/B Sample Schedule

For grades PK-3, students will be placed into A and B groups. On Mondays and Tuesdays, students in group A will come to school for their normal schedule while students in group B are learning online. On Thursdays and Fridays students in group B will attend school for their normal schedule and A day students will learn online. Wednesdays will be deep cleaning days between groups as well as weekends.

We ask that all families complete this Family Needs Survey

Activity / Athletics Updates

FMHS Graduation – June 27th, 2020

Good afternoon FMHS graduates and families. The Fort Madison Community School District administration has decided to move forward with a live graduation on Saturday, June 27 at 9:00AM. The ceremony will be held traditionally in the Fort Madison High School gymnasium to ensure appropriate social distancing, and to meet CDC recommendations. Below are the logistics and guidelines for the ceremony:

  • The Fort Madison Community School District administration highly recommends the wearing of masks for all attending graduates and their guests.
  • Each graduating senior will be allowed four guests. No tickets will be printed or provided for the ceremony this year.
  • There will be no transference of guest availability this year. If a graduating senior has fewer than four guests, those seats will remain unfilled.
  • The main entrance on the north side of the building will open at 7:30 AM. The main entrance will be the only doors open for guests to enter this year.
  • Graduating seniors and their four guests must enter the building together this year. If parties are missing guests, please plan to wait outside of the main entrance until all have arrived to enter the building. Once a graduating senior and their guests have entered, no additional guests will be allowed admittance.
  • The main entrance will be closed at 8:45 AM. No guest will be allowed admittance after 8:45 AM.
  • Graduating seniors will be seated on the gym floor during the ceremony.
  • Guests of graduates will be seated in the bleachers. The bleachers will be sectioned off and appropriately marked to allow for CDC recommendations regarding social distancing.
  • Guests of graduating seniors must enter and sit together in the bleachers during the ceremony. Ushers will be present to assist in seating guests.
  • Graduates and their guests are asked to exit the FMHS building as quickly as possible after the graduation ceremony is complete. Graduates and their guests are welcome to utilize the FMHS property for pictures afterwards.

If you have questions or concerns, please email Mr. Smith, Mr. Lamb, or Mr Swink. We are looking forward to the release of the virtual graduation, and celebrating with you on June 27.

FMCSD Administration

Food Service Updates

Summer Grab & Go Meals Program FMCSD Update

The Summer Grab & Go Meals Program will continue for the summer. The program starts on Thursday, June 11 and goes until Wednesday, August 12. Volunteers will hand out meals by drive-up on Monday-Friday from 11:00-11:30 A.M.

The meals are for all children ages 1-18. Each bag will include a lunch and a breakfast for the next morning. We will not be distributing meals on July 2 and July 3. Volunteers will pass out

The 10 Drop Off Location for the Summer Grab & Go Meals Program:

  1. Fort Madison High School
  2. Fort Madison Middle School
  3. Lincoln Elementary School
  4. Richardson Elementary School
  5. Fort Madison Central Office
  6. Old Settlers Park
  7. Victory Park
  8. Ivanhoe Apartments
  9. West Point Square
  10. Denmark Park

Also, if you would like to volunteer to assemble meals or help distribute meals, please contact tiffany.fullhart@fmcsd.org or 319-470-2715.

The Bloodhound Spirit Weeks are still going on! This week is Book Week, and next week is Scavenger Hunt Week. Participants are commenting their photos on the FMCSD Facebook page! To read more about the Bloodhound Spirit Weeks, click here: https://www.fmcsd.org/2020/04/27/bloodhound-spirit-weeks/

Read more about the volunteers here: https://www.fmcsd.org/2020/05/22/meet-rich-harlow-fmcsd-transportation/

Also, for more updates, follow the district on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fmcsd

Follow the district on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fmcsd_bloodhounds/

In addition, we are now on Tik Tok. Follow us! @fmcsdbloodhounds

Technology Updates

Loaned Device Collection 7/28 – 7/30

Students in grades 10-12 must keep their 1:1 device in their possession until school starts.

FMCSD will be collecting loaned Chromebooks, iPads, HotSpots as well as 1:1 devices graduated seniors may still have.

We kindly ask that devices be returned to the High School during one of the following slots:

  • Tuesday 7/28 1pm - 4pm
  • Wednesday 7/29 9am - noon
  • Thursday 7/30 1pm - 4pm

Please enter through the front door at the High School and drop off the device on the table to your right. A technology department representative will be there to collect the device(s) and any accessories that need to be returned.

Please notify staff on-site if the device has gotten damaged.

The technology department will observe social distancing guidelines and wear mask.