February 26, 2021

Friday, March 12, Decorah Community School District, Saint Benedict’s School, and Crossroads Academy employees and active substitutes will receive their second dose of COVID-19 vaccination. In order to facilitate the efficient distribution of vaccines, the professional development day currently scheduled for Monday, March 1 has been rescheduled to Friday, March 12.

Moving the professional development day from Monday, March 1 to Friday, March 12 allows an appropriate amount of time to pass between the first and second dose of vaccine and eliminates the need to add an additional remote school day during the month of March. Students will attend school for a regular day Monday, March 1, and will not attend school Friday, March 12, the rescheduled teacher in-service day. There will be no remote learning Friday, March 12; staff will be engaged in professional development on that day and will receive their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

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 2

Summary Positive COVID-19 

  • Of approximately 290 Staff – Thirty (30) positive COVID-19, Twenty-nine (29) recovered
  • Of approximately 1575 On-site students – One hundred (100) positive COVID-19, Ninety-six (96) recovered

County and District Trend Data

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

DCSD and Winn Co COVID Data 2 26 21

In his weekly message to families, Superintendent Mark Lane shared information about the legislative process.  He reported that next week is an important week in the annual state legislative process. In Iowa, the use of funnel deadlines keeps the legislative process moving, and the first funnel deadline is next Friday, March 5. Senate and House bills and joint resolutions need to be reported out of Senate and House committees. This means it will be a busy week for tracking which education-related bills are most likely to make their way to the House and Senate floor.

The House has divided Senate File 159 into three bills. House Study Bills (HSB) 240, 242, and 243.

HSB 240 – This bill would mandate a single statewide student information system.

HSB 242 – This bill would create a pathway for the creation of for-profit charter schools.

HSB 243 – This bill would establish an education savings account or voucher system.

Lane said, “I am opposed to these three bills. I have not heard any elected official express the problem a mandated statewide student information system would solve. Currently, there are three primary student information systems in use in Iowa: PowerSchool, Infinite Campus, and JMC. School districts have made their choice and are comfortable with the system they use. A forced change would create unnecessary work.”

“Currently, Iowa law allows elected local school boards to apply to oversee and operate a charter school,” Lane continued. “HSB 242 would open the door to private and for-profit charter schools. I think it is important for communities to have oversight of the schools serving students. I hope our elected officials will oppose expanding charter schools beyond the option that currently exists.”

Lane concluded, “I know many people have reached out to our elected officials about vouchers. I thank you for supporting the idea that public funds should be used for a public purpose with oversight and transparency. The Iowa Senate approved vouchers through Senate File 159 earlier in the session. The Iowa House will now take up the issue. Please continue to share your thoughts with our elected officials.”