Covid-19/Return to Learn
Ready to Go!
As of now, we are set to return to a normal school year with full, in person classes in person set to resume on Monday, August 23rd (while preschool will start on Thursday, September 2nd). However, as the last couple years have shown, anything can happen and we must be prepared in case of a future emergency.
Extended Closures will only be made in conjunction with a governor’s emergency proclamation. An example of this would be the closure experienced in the spring of 2020. Likewise, a move to a virtual format for up to a two week period would be coordinated and approved through the Iowa Department of Education. An example of this would be when STC moved to virtual learning for a two week period in November of 2020.
Options for Learning
On-Site In Person Learning: School will begin as normal on Monday, August 23rd! At this point, we do not believe that other learning models will be implemented unless otherwise indicated by the Governor.
Hybrid Learning: The hybrid model was an approach used to start last year where only half of the students are in attendance on any one day. This model will be utilized only under an emergency proclamation by the Governor of Iowa or if the School Board feels it is necessary to maintain physical distance in our classrooms and in our school buildings.
Virtual Learning: We do not anticipate operating a virtual learning environment this year and will do so only in conjunction with approval from the Iowa Department of Education. Like other modes of instruction, remote learning will require that attendance will be taken, grades and credit will be awarded, and teachers will deliver instruction remotely.
On March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act was signed into law. The ARP Act authorized a third round of emergency coronavirus relief to schools across the country through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund - also known as ESSER III. The ESSER III Fund allocates nearly $123 billion to states and school districts to help safely reopen schools pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, sustain the safe operation of schools, and address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on students.
In total, the STC Schools have received a total of $4.6 million dollars in federal stimulus funds since the beginning of the pandemic. To see a breakdown of those funds and how they have been used, click here.
At STC, we received $2.9 million dollars in ESSER III funds. Of that, 20% or $590,000 is reserved to address learning loss as a result of COVID, leaving $2.4 million dollars that can be used for other purposes. While broad in scope, the primary directive is to utilize the funds in a way that can be connected to our response now or in future pandemics. For complete detail of how the funds can be used, this guidance documentis provided for your reference.
To best determine how funds should be allocated, district leadership has met every month dating back to March. During these discussions, we have allocated funds to ensure we are doing what is best for students and helping them get caught up with their learning. Furthermore, allocations have been shared and discussed with teacher leadership as well as during school board meetings.
In addition, I would like to invite all community members to provide feedback. Please take a few minutes to let us know how you best think we should utilize our resources by emailing me with your ideas. My email address is email@example.com.
Last, But Not Least
We cannot thank you enough for helping us make it through a challenging 2020-2021 school year. Our students, staff, and parents demonstrated that we were “Trojan Strong” during both COVID and the derecho!
As is always the case, our district will be sure to give parents plenty of warning to adjust schedules and make arrangements in the event that school will be altered or cancelled as a result of the COVID pandemic.
Here’s to a successful and “normal” 2021-2022 school year.