FD schools shift gears to fight pandemic
Starting on Wednesday, the Fort Dodge Community School District will shift to using a hybrid instruction delivery model due to the current “public health landscape,” according to an email sent to parents on Monday afternoon.
“It should be of no surprise to our families that at a certain point this year, it was going to happen,” Superintendent Jesse Ulrich said later during the school board meeting.
With the number of students and staff in quarantine with the virus, he said the district could not continue to operate as is.
“We do not take these decisions lightly as we know in-person learning is best for kids whenever possible,” he said. “We are hopeful the public health landscape will improve in the next couple of weeks and look forward to our at-school learners being back in our classrooms on Nov. 30.”
The district made the announcement on Monday afternoon in an email to parents.
There will be no school for transitional kindergarten through 12th grade for the FDCSD today so staff can prepare for the change in mode of instruction.
Preschool will continue to meet as normal.
Using the hybrid model will allow the district to limit the number of students in the school buildings every day.
Group A will learn at school on Nov. 11, 12, 18 and 19, while Group B learns virtually at home. Group B will learn at school Nov. 13, 16, 20 and 23, while Group A learns virtually at home.
Nov. 17 and Nov. 24 will be intervention days where teachers will meet with students individually or in small groups as needed. Families with students who need to participate will be communicated with directly from teachers.
Families who do not have internet access at home and need a hotspot in order for their students to learn on their virtual learning days can pick one up at the Central Office, 109 N. 25th St., weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Families who want school lunch for their students on their virtual learning days will need to complete a lunch reservation form sent to them by 7 a.m. Wednesday.
Elementary school students will meet with teachers via Google Meet on their virtual learning days. Lessons will be recorded for students who are not able to attend, like those who are in day care. Learning activities will be posted on Seesaw or Google Classroom.
Middle school students will meet virtually via Google Meet at the beginning of each schedule period on their virtual learning days. Seventh- and eighth-grade athletics will continue to practice, except on intervention days. Games will take place as scheduled.
Fort Dodge Senior High students will learn independently on virtual learning days and they will not need to login to Google Meet at the beginning of each class period. High school athletics and activities practices and games or meets will continue to take place as scheduled.
Dodger Academy will be available for elementary school students who normally attend, on their group’s days in school. On intervention days and days there are are no school, there will not be Dodger Academy.
During Monday night’s school board meeting, Ulrich acknowledged the frustration some may feel about this decision and asked that those who do not “like the fact that we’re not having school in person” to “do their part” in following public health recommendations from Webster County Public Health to mitigate the virus.