Please view this video published by Superintendent Art Sathoff for an important announcement regarding 6th grade.

Transcript of the video:

Indianola Community School District Parents, this is Superintendent Art Sathoff

Please listen carefully to this message, which will also be posted on our Return to Learn page of the website. I know this is an incredibly stressful and complicated time for everyone, and I think there will be more hurdles before it gets better.

As you know, Friday night the district became aware of a positive COVID-19 result for a sixth grade teacher and through contact tracing determined that staff member had been in direct contact with seven other sixth grade teachers. Those teachers were quarantined, and the district was arranging coverage to keep sixth graders on site.

Now one of the quarantined teachers has tested positive. Further contact tracing was undertaken Monday afternoon once the district was notified of the positive test. It was determined that this second individual who tested positive was in direct contact with an additional five sixth grade teachers. This means that we are, unfortunately, going to have to move the sixth grade to continuous learning-remote to begin the school year. Virtually the entire sixth grade team is impacted, and there is no way to arrange coverage for onsite learning.

If public health guidance allows, staff will work in their classrooms and buildings as continuous remote learning takes place. Students with significant educational needs, as determined by an IEP or additional data, may attend for a portion of the day on site.

During remote instruction teachers will maintain consistent office hours for at least two hours a day to be available for questions and assistance. Zoom meetings will take place with students the regularly scheduled class time to avoid conflicting meetings for students. There should be at least three zoom meetings a week for each course.

The principal will communicate regularly with families and identify additional supports that are needed. Expect at least a weekly principal talk or newsletter.

Sixth grade students do not yet have their Chromebooks as this was planned to take place during the first couple of days of school. The IT Department has arranged a pick up time and process for Tuesday and Wednesday night. Please check your email for details.

We had spent the weekend and Monday morning planning for how to safely make onsite instruction occur, but with this second positive test and additional direct contacts, we have no alternative but to move to remote instruction. The two-week quarantine period ends Friday, September 4, and we will plan to return to on site learning for the sixth grade September 8.

I regret the late notice for families, but I am typing this message two hours after finding out about the second positive test. We communicated the decision as soon as possible after additional contact tracing and discussion with Warren County Health Services. Please look for additional communication from the middle school in the coming days. Thank you