Sioux Center recommends, not requires masks

Sioux Center School District Board of Education briefly reviews the Return to Learn policy before approving it Monday evening, Aug. 16.

SIOUX CENTER—Masks or face coverings are recommended but not required for students, staff and visitors based on the Return to Learn policy approved Monday.

The Sioux Center School District Board of Education heard a brief overview and passed the policy in only about three minutes of its nearly hour and half meeting.

“In essence it’s basically how things were as we ended the year,” said superintendent Gary McEldowney. “The only other change is that we’ve removed the remote learning piece, students will have in-person instruction.

“In the event a student gets ill, we’ll handle as we have in years prior. They contact the school. If there’s an extended illness, we make adjustments with the students and families.”

Other precautions carrying over from the 2020-21 school year are:

  • Students and staff are asked to stay home when they are sick so as to not spread infection of any kind.
  • Frequent reminders will be given to cover sneezes/coughs.
  • Classrooms will be arranged to maximize space where possible.
  • Hand hygiene will be stressed.
  • Extensive cleaning and disinfecting will continue within the buildings and facilities.

Per Iowa Department of Public Health recommendation, COVID-19 positive persons should remain home until they are no longer infectious. They can return to normal activities after:

  • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.
  • 24 hours fever free without fever-reducing medications and
  • COVID-19 symptoms improve and the case is feeling “well” again. (Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation.)

Adjustments may be made if or when community transmission is high or substantial.

McEldowney encourages families to contact the building principals for their child’s grade level for a higher level of clarity for a specific building.

Kinsey Elementary principal Troy Lentell noted a specific example for the elementary school will be the ability for parents to eat in the lunchroom with their child during the school year.

For questions regarding the school district’s COVID-19 mitigation strategies, call 712-722-2981 and ask for school nurse Sarah Te Grotenhuis.