A Letter from Our CD Administration Team

November 2, 2021

Cardinal Families, 

During the first quarter of this school year, Central Decatur Community School District diligently engaged with and evaluated the evolving guidance regarding COVID-19 mitigation strategies, including the most current guidelines from Decatur County Public Health, the Iowa Department of Public Health, the Iowa Department of Education, the Governor’s Office and the Centers for Disease Control.  

As we transition into the second quarter, we will maintain these efforts as well as continue to actively monitor our local school, community and county conditions. Positivity rates will be monitored for individual classrooms and buildings, the District overall, the communities within our school district and Decatur County.  Current numbers of positive students and staff can be found on the Return to Learn resource site of our District website in the Current Numbers section.  If 10% of students and/or staff are absent due to COVID-19 and/or other identified childhood illnesses, the District will contact Decatur County Public Health and implement mitigation strategies.  These strategies may include, but are not limited to, shifting to another instructional delivery model that could be applied to a specific classroom or building, depending on the situation. 

In order to ensure a safe and healthy learning environment, we would like to highlight our most current 2021-2022 District Return to Learn plan:

Monitoring and Reporting Illness

  • It is very important for parents/guardians to monitor their child’s health.  If a child has a temperature of 100.4 or higher, the child(ren) is required to stay home from school.
  • Symptoms such as sore throat, rash, vomiting and diarrhea should be discussed with your healthcare provider.  
  • If your child is absent from school, please be sure to contact the appropriate school office to report the absence.
  • Contact the school nurse to report a positive COVID-19 case and/or any potential exposure your child may have had to a positive COVID-19 case. 
  • Central Decatur will categorize and address COVID-19 the same as other childhood illnesses, such as the flu or strep throat.  
  • Students who exhibit any signs of illness will be evaluated by school personnel and may be sent home in accordance with a typical illness.  
  • Central Decatur Staff will not conduct contact tracing, nor will the District notify parents of close contacts or individual positive cases in order to protect the health privacy of all individuals. 
  • Students or staff who have been exposed to a person with a positive Covid-19 test result will not be required to quarantine as long as they are asymptomatic.  Parents or guardians should quarantine their child as a safety precaution if they have been exposed to an individual in the household with COVID-19, unless they are vaccinated and asymptomatic.   
  • Central Decatur Students and Staff who are confirmed COVID-19 positive, who become symptomatic, or who exhibit similar symptoms will adhere to the following requirements:   
    • The individual must isolate for 10 days from symptom onset, or from the date of the positive test, if asymptomatic.  The individual may return to school/regular activity once the following three criteria are met:
      • No fever for at least 24 hours without the use of medicine that reduces fevers. AND
      • Other symptoms have improved, including at least 24 hours without vomiting and/or diarrhea. 
        • Symptoms of COVID-19 may include the following:  New cough or change in cough, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, new loss of taste or smell, fever of 100.4 or greater, headache, muscle/body aches, fatigue, sore throat, runny nose, congestion, nausea/vomiting, or diarrhea.
        • The loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation​. AND
      • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared, or since the date of positive test if asymptomatic. OR
      • A registered health care provider provides an alternate diagnosis and this documentation is provided to the school.

CD Staff:  Please note the policies detailed in Board Policy 420 – Employee Health and Safety and Board Policy 421 – Universal Precautions, will be reference documents.  

Daily Health Practices and Routines

  • The District will continue to utilize ventilation and cleaning strategies known to support a safe and healthy learning school environment. 
  • Teachers will emphasize good hand hygiene and may direct or instruct students on handwashing in an age appropriate fashion. 
  • Attention will be given to frequent sanitizing of high touch surfaces.  
  • Social distancing will be supported to the extent possible.  
  • Hand sanitizer will be available throughout district buildings.  

Face Masks

When the school year started, in accordance with House File 847, passed during the 2021 Legislative Session, local schools and school boards no longer have the authority to require students, staff or visitors to wear a face covering to school.  This includes during the school day, as well as at school events, athletic activities, practices, camps, etc, and on buses.  

On September 13, a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order against the enforcement of HF847 as it relates to face coverings, effectively providing school districts the authority to implement a mask requirement at its discretion.  While Central Decatur has not changed our mask optional policy, it is important to note that the use of masks or other face coverings is currently encouraged  in schools for students, staff, families and visitors to school.  Students and staff who choose to wear masks will be supported in their choice. According to the CDC, masks have been found helpful in reducing exposure to or spreading illness.   

School Day Procedures

  • CD Schools will adhere to the board approved 2021-2022 school calendar, to the fullest extent possible.
  • CD Schools will offer full-time, 100% on campus learning for students. Students will follow the regular school schedule.
  • CD Schools will offer an online option for students with a qualifying and documented health condition through Edmentum, an independent instructional provider.  
  • Affiliated educational services such as nutrition, transportation and Cardinal Muscle will conduct operations in their standard manner.  
  • School breakfast and lunches are provided free of charge this year through the Seamless Summer Option.

We look forward to your continued support and partnership and to continued success this school year.  

Chris Coffelt, Superintendent

Dan Johnson, 7-12 Principal

Amy Whittington, PK-6 Principal

Please note COVID-19 information is subject to change at any time throughout the school year.  Any changes in our COVID-19 plans, procedures or policies will be communicated to staff and families in a timely manner and through our regular channels of communication, such as PowerSchool and the District website.

  • Revised: November 1, 2021
  • Board Reviewed: November 17, 2021