January 29, 2021

Decorah Community School District is committed to providing transparent, accurate data regarding cases of isolation and/or quarantining related to COVID-19 while maintaining the confidentiality of students and staff. On September 18, the Iowa Department of Public Health and Iowa Department of Education released guidance to school districts and local public health agencies detailing communication of COVID-19 related data.

The Iowa Department of Public Health guidance can be found here.

COVID Data 1 29 21

Summary Positive COVID-19 

  • Of approximately 290 Staff – Twenty-seven (27) positive COVID-19, Twenty-five (25) recovered
  • Of approximately 1575 On-site students – Eighty-eight (88) positive COVID-19, Eighty-five (85) recovered

County and District Trend Data

The graphs below reflect county and district data taken each Tuesday and Thursday since school began.

Winn County and DCSD COVID Data 1 29 21

Reminder of weather-related cancellations:

In accordance with the plan approved by the Decorah Community School District Board of Directors, the District will begin to implement the remote learning plan on the third emergency closure day of the school year. This means the first two emergency closure days will be handled exactly as they have in past years. No remote learning will be provided, and the days will not be made up at the end of the school year. One of these days has already been used. The third and subsequent days will be remote learning days. The DCSD Emergency Closure Remote Learning Day Plan explains the schedule and logistics of a remote learning day.

Message from Mark Lane, Superintendent, regarding education advocacy:

“An unintended result of my frequent advocacy for our District and all Iowa schools is people saying things like, ‘You really don’t like Governor Reynolds,’ or ‘You just don’t support anything Governor Reynolds says or does.’ So, today I want to draw attention to two areas where I support and appreciate Governor Reynolds’s attention and advocacy,” shared Lane.

“On January 13, 2021, Governor Reynolds announced Child Care Challenge Funding Opportunities. In Winneshiek County, we are aware of the issue of child care deserts and the challenges rural Iowa families can face in finding adequate child care services. The Child Care Challenge Fund is a grant opportunity where businesses, non-profits, and communities can come together to apply for funds to fuel innovation in child care programs and services. Rural communities are strengthened when parents can trust that their children are safe and well cared for while they are at work. I encourage everyone to support the continued funding and growth of the Child Care Challenge Program.”

“Governor Reynolds has also supported creating universal broadband access for Iowans. This is another issue where the governor has my support and advocacy. We know the challenges of poor internet service. Northeast Iowa is uniquely challenged because of both our population density and our topography. Creating and maintaining the infrastructure for high-speed broadband is expensive work. Companies are not going to take quick action to create broadband access if it isn’t going to drive profits. Our state and local governments must play a role in improvement efforts. I encourage everyone to support moving toward universal broadband for Iowans.”

Lane continues, “Iowa law requires that I be evaluated annually using the Iowa Standards for School Leaders. Standard six states, ‘An educational leader promotes the success of all students by understanding the profile of the community and responding to, and influencing the larger political, social, economic, legal and cultural context.’ At this time, influencing the political, economic, and legal context of education seems to frequently put public educators in opposition with Governor Reynolds’s positions. In my role as superintendent, I will always take positions I feel are in the long-term best interest of Decorah Community School District. I will support what I believe is good for Iowa, regardless of ideological philosophy or political party affiliations.”

Lane concludes, “If you’re interested in my thoughts on recent action regarding Senate File 159, the voucher bill, you can read my newest blog, We have seen this movie; we know how it ends.”