Kruse's Korner

Notes from the Superintendent’s Desk

April Newsletter
Since the governor's recommendation to waive instructional time requirements for public education for four weeks in the state of Iowa, daily guidance is being provided to local districts by the Iowa Dept. of Education, US Dept. of Education, and the many other governmental agencies.  In addition, the three local districts that I serve each passed a Resolution - Pandemic Response and Emergency Suspension of Policy as provided by Iowa Association of School Boards.  Highlights of the resolution include:

  • The resolution allows for school boards to suspend some policies necessary during this 4 week period.
  • Most hourly non-exempt employees will be unable to work normal hours  because of the district's closure and certified staff may be asked to help to provide continuity in educational services.
  • SF2408 granted a waiver of instructional time for all public districts closing before April 12 to prevent or contain COVID-19 and gives the governor the ability to waive instructional time after April 12 to prevent or contain the spread of COVID-19.
  • The DE has the authority to interpret graduation requirements.
  • The superintendent will consult with the board information about appropriate closures.
  • The superintendent can close any school without further action of the BOE.
  • The superintendent can direct staff assignments during the closure.
  • Public grounds and buildings may be limited as directed by the supt.
  • Certified, exempt employees will remain employed during the school closure until the contract has been fulfilled, unless otherwise approved by the BOE.  Days that contracted employees do not report for duty onsite or from a remote location, due to closure, do not constitute a fulfilled contract day except to the extent those days are forgiven by the district.
  • The BOE authorized the supt. to place hourly non-exempt employees on administrative leave and continue to pay them for up to 4 weeks during the closure and the BOE shall reevaluate this authority if the closure lasts longer than 4 weeks.
  • Board meetings will be handled differently using technology and possibly limiting public comment to written comments.

New guidance received on March 24, communicated information about the continuation of concurrent enrollment classes.  Each district is reviewing this guidance in an effort to begin teaching concurrent enrollment classes again in the near future.  Districts have the temporary ability to open up access to internet connections for students to complete concurrent enrollment classes if they do not have access at home by parking in near proximity to the school.  

Each district is operating a food program for students between the ages of 1-18.  A special thank you goes out to the food service departments in each district and any volunteers who are helping prepare meals.  Meals served have grown in each district as communication has spread to the public regarding this service.

We await receiving confirmation from the governor when school can begin again.  Some dialect has been happening between local districts and the Dept. of Education for on-line learning options.  The original governance received by local districts was this could be provided as supplemental voluntary learning, but could not be required.  An immediate concern for on-line learning is equity.

Thank you for your patience during this unprecedented time in our country.  In visiting with many staff members, they look forward to continuing to teach again and working with our children.  I'm sure many parents are hoping for the same!

It is the policy of the South Central Calhoun Community School District to not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, creed, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or socioeconomic status in its programs, activities or employment practices.  Questions or grievances related to this policy may be addressed to the district’s Equity Coordinator, Wendi Geno, at South Central Calhoun CSD, 1000 Tonawanda Street, Rockwell City, IA 50579 or call 712-297-7222.