WDMCS Board Approves Face Mask Requirement in Response to Increasing COVID-19 Cases
Due to the current COVID-19 positivity rate in Polk County, West Des Moines Community Schools (WDMCS) leadership called for a special Board of Education meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 4, to discuss temporarily transitioning students online.
At the meeting, district leadership presented specific information to the Board, such as student and staff attendance data, Polk County data broken down by zip code, and unfilled substitute data. As a result, WDMCS recommended no change to our current online or in-person learning environments. The Board supported the recommendations, acknowledging meeting weekly as a Board could allow them to direct the district to transition online, if needed, based on information at the time.
Effective Nov. 9, WDMCS will change our requirements of wearing face coverings to wearing face masks. The district will continue to monitor data and hold weekly Board meetings if the COVID-19 positivity rate is above 10 percent to review:
- WDMCS student absenteeism percentages
- 10% or more increase in average daily attendance
- Polk County positivity rate by zip code
- WDMCS staff/department absenteeism
Additionally, WDMCS will continue to utilize current mitigation strategies in collaboration with Polk County Health guidance, and continue to transition learning environments for individuals and/or classrooms that are impacted by COVID-19 cases.
Our students, families, staff, and community members play an important role in keeping us in the in-person and hybrid models. Wearing face masks in public, practicing physical distancing, frequent and correct hand washing, minimizing your time out in public, limiting the number of people you interact with, and staying home when you are sick will all help minimize the spread of COVID-19.