Family/Staff Update May 22
As we head into the holiday weekend, I want to provide you with updates from Governor Kim Reynolds’ announcements earlier this week and what it means for Waukee students and families. As current restrictions and guidelines are modified, we continue to do our best to respond with timeliness and accuracy. Please note that when modifications are announced live from the Governor’s Office to the public, we have no prior notification of the content. We learn in real-time alongside all of you. We appreciate your patience while we work to respond to changing guidance and proclamations.
Here is a summary of this week’s information from the Governor on the continued closure and reopening of some school programs and facilities. It is a lengthy message so hang in there to the end.
2020 Commencement Ceremony
We are excited to announce, with feedback from 2020 seniors and their families, we will be holding commencement at Waukee Stadium on June 27. This will be limited to graduates and two family members. As you would expect, social distancing and safety requirements will be followed. We will be providing more information to our families as soon as we have all the details.
Reopening Guidance: Summer Sports
- Practice for baseball and softball can begin June 1
- Games for baseball and softball can begin June 15
- All other team organized sports and activities are still suspended until July 1
- Further guidance will be issued by the Iowa High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) and the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union (IGHSAU)
Points of Clarification:
- This is only for high school baseball and softball. All junior high sports are still suspended.
- All other in-person organized activities are still suspended. Examples include:
- weight conditioning for all sports
- drama productions
- band practice
- Transportation guidance is forthcoming
- This is voluntary. No schools are required to begin baseball and softball if they feel they are unable to do so. We are working closely with other CIML schools to further clarify expectations that would allow for competition.
Reopening Guidance: Summer Learning and Activities
- Proclamation permits schools to offer summer learning opportunities starting June 1
- Schools may offer summer learning in buildings or through their continuous learning models
- Learning opportunities may include summer school or school activity camps
- If any activity takes place in a school building, there are safety requirements that must be followed
- This only applies for the month of June
Points of Clarification:
- This guidance does not change the Return-to-Learn plans being prepared for July 1 deadline
- All public health recommendations and safety measures will apply, such as temperature taking on-site
- This is voluntary. No schools are required to open.
Use of Facilities
- Childcare: Beyond the Bell and Live Yers will be opening on June 8 to meet the needs of our families.
- School facilities may only open for school-sponsored activities as permitted by the Governor’s proclamationsSchool facilities used for community benefit or enterprise may open if consistent with the Governor’s proclamations
Points of Clarification:
- Weight rooms may not open unless they are community-run and supervised
- Open gym is not permitted
- Districts may have staff in buildings to work, but they must comply with all requirements for social distancing and safety measures.
What This Means for WCSD
A district team is working diligently on a plan to fully support the reopening guidelines outlined above. The following team members will work in accordance with the Iowa Department of Education guidelines, IHSAA, IGHSAU, and Governor Kim Reynolds’ proclamations on a summer sports plan:
- All athletic directors
- All baseball and softball coaches
- District administration
The plan outlining baseball and softball practices, games, and transportation will be developed and communicated by May 29, 2020.
As summer learning plans and district facility usage plans emerge those will be communicated out to our staff and families.
Finally, as we close out the school year, undoubtedly like any other, we are diligently planning for next year. While we have explored starting school next year prior to our Board approved calendar date of August 24, 2020, at this time we will not be starting earlier than that date. With uncertainty about what the fall will look like in terms of starting school, limited additional funding that equals approximately one day of school, and implementation rules that require the days before August 24 to be in excess of the 1080 hours of 180 days, we believe keeping the current, approved calendar is the best solution.
We have provided you with A LOT of information, however, we hope it provides some clarity to a very dynamic and fluid situation. Please take time to enjoy the long weekend and know that I truly appreciate your support of Waukee Schools.