The Iowa Department of Education (IDOE) required public school districts to create a Return-to-Learn plan for the 2023-24 school year. This plan must be approved by the WDMCS Board of Education and reviewed every six months. Revised plans require Board approval, but if the plans do not change, then Board approval is not required. WDMCS considers federal, state, and local health authorities’ COVID-19 guidance when updating our Return-to-Learn plan. This plan was last reviewed by the Board of Education on Sept. 11, 2023.
Guidance for individuals who test positive for COVID-19
- Contact your school nurse for guidance.
- Individuals must isolate themselves at home from days 0-5. Day 0 is the first day of symptoms, or the day of the positive test if no symptoms have developed.
- Individuals may return after 5 days, if:
- they are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications;
- their symptoms are improving; and
- they wear a mask for days 6-10 when around other people. If the individual tests negative twice at least 48 hours apart between days 6-10, then the mask can be removed before day 10.
Guidance for individuals who are exposed to a positive COVID-19 case
- Individuals should mask when around other people for a total of 10 days. Testing is recommended on or after day five.
- If the initial test is negative, the individual is encouraged to test again 48 hours after the first test.
Contact Tracing/Test Kits/Vaccines
- The Iowa Department of Public Health adjusted COVID-19 surveillance to follow the influenza model. This means districts cannot independently contact trace. Any contact tracing and follow-up would need to be led by the Polk County Health Department (PCHD).
- Individuals who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine are highly encouraged to receive one.
- Numerous organizations offer free vaccines within Polk County.
- Free COVID-19 testing kits may be in each building for students and staff, based on availability. These kits are to be used at home and mailed to a testing facility to receive results. These kits are not to be returned to any WDMCS building. Central Iowa testing locations will be frequently shared with families and staff. WDMCS is not allowed to independently administer tests.
Buildings and Buses
- Students and staff will be asked to stay home if they feel ill and/or have a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher. Student absences will be recorded in Infinite Campus, and staff absences will be recorded through the standard leave process.
- All individuals, including students, staff, and visitors, are encouraged to follow CDC guidance regarding face masks.
- Hand sanitizer and handwashing stations are available and encouraged.
- In 2020, WDMCS upgraded the HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system to remove viral particles. (We changed from MERV 8 to MERV 13-14 filters.)
- Federal emergency relief funds will be used to continue HVAC updates across the district as part of ongoing construction work.
- Water bottle stations are available in all school buildings. Students and staff are encouraged to bring their own reusable water bottles.
- High-touch areas will be cleaned and disinfected regularly throughout the day.
- Plexiglass barriers may remain within district and school office spaces that have public-facing interaction.
- Cleaning and disinfecting supplies will be provided for each space in buildings.
- Teachers are able to take students outside for fresh air.
- Students will participate in recess and P.E. with their peers.
- Breakfasts and lunches will be eaten in the cafeteria. Hand sanitizer will be available.
- Parents/guardians, guests, and volunteers may be allowed into school buildings. Student handbooks outline more information regarding procedures for volunteering at schools.
ESSER III Plan
On April 21, 2021, the U.S. Department of Education (USED) released its American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ARP ESSER or ESSER III) state plan template for state education agencies (SEAs) to complete to receive the remaining third of ESSER III funds. In addition to the template, the USED also released ESSER III interim final requirements related to SEA consultation, district ESSER III plans, and district plans for a safe return to in-person instruction and continuity of services.
Please contact School/Community Relations if you need this plan provided in a different format or read aloud.