Aware of the DCSD’s Announcement/Letter
We are aware of the announcement by the Davenport Community School District that it will start the school year on August 24th in either a 100% remote learning or a one day per week in school hybrid model. The DCSD will not start with full face-to-face on-site learning.
JFK is still evaluating the situation, and we are trying to get answers regarding bus transportation from the DCSD as well. We will be re-examining the details of our face-to-face on-site plan and determine if any changes should be made.
The COVID-19 situation has changed dramatically within the past month. I attended three meetings this week with health department officials, and they are extremely concerned. A month ago, the number of new infections per day was around 4-6 new cases per day in Scott County. Today, that number is about 40 new cases per day with a typical range between about 20 and 75. Since cases were tracked beginning in winter/spring, about half of all cases in Scott County have occurred within the last two weeks. Contact tracing is becoming more difficult, and the number of people having to quarantine per identified case is increasing as people are out and about more in the community and are having more close contacts now. The message from the health department officials is consistent: if we want kids in school in six weeks, we need to change behavior in our community today.
That said, the health department officials are not saying that schools cannot open. If they are to open, they need to carefully examine the guiding principles from the CDC. It is also noted that the principles are more than a month old, and more information continues to be learned. For example, the data on the impact of face coverings is even more clear that they make a difference for everyone. Below are the CDC guidelines:
- Promote healthy hygiene practices such as hand washing and employees wearing a (cloth) face covering, as feasible
- Intensify cleaning, disinfection, and ventilation
- Encourage social distancing through increased spacing, small groups and limited mixing between groups, if feasible
- Train all employees on health and safety protocols
- Screening students and staff, which can be done at home
These principles are nearly identical to what is being stated at the county level:
- Social distancing
- Hand/face hygiene
- Face coverings
- Includes both staff and students
At JFK, we will continue to review the information available and determine if any changes are needed to our plan for face-to-face on-site instruction to begin on August 24th.
As we always conclude, “Our Lady of Victory,… pray for us.”