This web page contains frequently asked questions about the District’s Return to Learn Plan.
If you have a question you don’t see listed below please submit your question so we can provide you with the most updated, accurate information.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides support for anxiety, depression, job stress, wellness concerns, and much more. To talk to a counselor, please call 800-327-4692, or contact them online. Similarly, families can reach out for EFR through their Student Assistance Program (SAP). Maintaining work-life balance is more stressful than it’s ever been. The district partners with Employee & Family Resources (EFR) to being a Student Assistance Plan (SAP) and an Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) that provides a variety of counseling, consultations, resources, and coaching benefits for students, employees, and their family members to help with small concerns, big problems, and everything in between. Your EAP benefits are cost-free, confidential, and available 24/7/365.
The district has a balance between protecting employees who are positive and their condition but also notify those exposed. First, we will seek guidance from the Department of Public Health and will notify those who they suggest as soon as possible.
We will partner with Polk County and Dallas County Public Health for this service. The district will communicate to all individuals that we know have been in close contact with the infected individual and give them their next steps.
The guidance continues to be to self-isolate for 14 days if you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Monitor for symptoms during that 14-day period.
The district will not be asking for students or staff to report where they are traveling. We are currently prohibiting district travel aside from athletic and activities events. We will continue to advise staff and students to limit opportunities for exposure with social distancing and staying home as much as possible.
The individual sick will be isolated and sent home as soon as possible. If the individual has a confirmed case of COVID-19, we will immediately work with local health officials to help administer the course of action. Depending on the number of cases in the building, we will work with public health to determine how long the building should be closed to gain a better understanding of the situation and give time for custodial staff to clean and disinfect the building. We will communicate with staff and families of the next steps and time frame to ensure everyone is safe to return to the building.
We do not anticipate any issues with toilet paper shortages.
Test Iowa is Waukee is open for COVID-19. The Waukee drive-thru site is located at South Middle School, 2350 SE LA Grant Parkway. The site is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. The site is anticipated to be operational until early August.
WCSD staff will be expected to use some form of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) based on their role. This may include wearing a face shield, face mask, and/or gloves. Students will be required to wear a face covering.
If a WCSD student or employee is diagnosed with COVID-19, the district will work with local health officials to determine the appropriate next steps. This may require a building to temporarily shift to an online learning environment. Because each case is unique, we will communicate as we do for snow days via phone, email, and text alerts any time-sensitive announcements regarding any needed changes for a school day.
WCSD will also reach out to the employee/supervisor or family about possible exposure. We will work alongside the Iowa Department of Public Health and the Dallas County Health Department to communicate with those individuals impacted to determine their needs and provide support.
We will deep-clean any district buildings impacted. We must maintain privacy of individuals but will share extensive communication regarding exposure or potential exposure to allow families and staff to make informed decisions
WCSD will continue to follow guidance from both local and state authorities. If Governor Reynold’s office or another agency recommends school closures, we would immediately transition to a fully-online learning environment.
WCSD will assess students for symptoms of COVID-19 and share that information with families. WCSD will continue to encourage families to keep their students home when they are not feeling well. This will help us all ensure that we continue working together to keep everyone healthy and safe.
WCSD is asking employees to monitor their temperature and symptoms. If an employee feels sick and/or has symptoms related to COVID-19, they are asked not to come into work.
WCSD has products that provide protection over time and different disinfecting agents that can be applied and prohibit spread. Our custodial and maintenance crews are working on touch-point cleaning schedules to apply disinfectant, and we have remediation plans set for when a positive case impacts our school buildings and/or district facilities. A follow-up team will come in to do a deep-clean after 24-48 hours of initial sanitization.
We are measuring and working on ways to get maximum distance in rooms. When possible, kids will sit at desks 4-6 feet apart in classrooms and be asked to physical distance whenever possible.
Students will be put into district online classes, not by building. We are continuing to work through ways the students online and student in-person can connect throughout the year.
We will put mask breaks in student’s schedules. When students aren’t intentionally following proper protocol, discipline may be received.
We will work with Public Health on their recommendations if and when we should lift the face-covering requirement.
We will work closely with Public Health to determine the next steps such as who needs to quarantine and for how long.
We understand the importance of students making a connection at their school prior to the beginning of the school year. School principals are making plans on how to best provide those opportunities at their building. Watch for more information from your school.
The current answer is that it will be like any other absence, however, we now have a 1:1 environment and a learning management system (LMS). That immediately will make it more accessible to students than the traditional model that we have lived under in the past. An option is more recording of lessons and postings, the assignments will be available through the LMS, there is an opportunity for a student to participate in asynchronous and synchronous chats.
Exercise and play is an important part of a student’s daily activity. Our goal is to allow outdoor recess. The use of playground equipment is a decision that will be made at a later date.
WCSD will continue to support students in our Gifted/Talented Program so there is not a reduction in opportunities. Please contact your building for assistance.
WCSD plans to focus on grade-level standards and competencies. We will use those strategies to support accelerated learning. We will also utilize resources provided by Heartland AEA and the Iowa Department of Education to close gaps and accelerate learning. There will be continuous assessments of students’ knowledge and progress.
WCSD will continue to find creative ways to provide hands-on learning opportunities as necessary. WCSD Teaching & Learning is currently developing standards-based criteria for these classes and opportunities. We will also identify how classes can maintain social distance and other health and safety measures during hands-on learning.
Student attendance and participation is important.
You will be contacted by your assigned teacher for supplies needed for online learning.
We did investigate the ability to move between models. However, given that this data will drive our staffing patterns, we do not anticipate the ability to move students between models until the second semester.
Teachers will be assigned online only and in the building only. We will have more intentionality in the structure.
Our team is currently planning instructional modules that can be housed in Canvas and delivered either in-person, online, or both. We hope this approach will be helpful, no matter the student’s chosen learning environment or any intermittent closures that may occur. Yes, any ELP-identified student will still have access to extended instruction with their ELP teacher.
Beyond in-person plans, you have likely heard discussions related to one or more hybrid models. Many districts, including ours, have been investigating models including A/B (alternating) days or alternating weeks. We considered these alternating hybrid models in order to comply with possible directives for significantly reduced numbers of students in classrooms. With the current information available to us, we believe our planning will allow for typical numbers of students in classrooms. As such, we have pivoted away from those conversations at this time. We believe our hybrid model will be in-person learning for those who choose to attend and continuous (online) learning for those who are not comfortable attending.
Teachers will be assigned online only and in the building only. We will have more intentionality in the structure.
The WCSD Nutrition Services Department has been working on several plans. In a scheduled virtual learning setting, students and families can sign up to pick up meals at the schools. In an unanticipated closure, meals would be available at curbside pickup locations. In the hybrid model, students will be able to take meals home for the days they would be learning at home. WCSD elementary and junior high students will be able to eat breakfasts and lunches in the classroom in order to properly social distance. At the high school level, additional locations in buildings are being identified as suitable areas to eat meals while social distancing. More information will be available at a later date.
WCSD identified early on that child care would be a concern.
WCSD has worked with individuals and healthcare professionals to see if our current mitigation strategies are adequate or if additional accommodations are needed. We will use a long-standing interactive process to communicate directly with employees.
For students, WCSD will work to accommodate each family’s choice but ask that families contact the school nurse to address concerns in further detail and potentially develop a more robust healthcare plan.
The Building Administrators are working through this.
We will have activities as allowed by the state associations. We will follow all guidelines as applicable.
These are all allowed. There will be water filling stations in every building.
This is an area of school services also being disrupted by COVID-19. We are working through solutions, however, depending on the restrictions and limitations that are likely to be in place, we are considering limiting access to our current pay-to ride-service.
As some of you know, we currently allow for families to pay for transportation services when residences are inside the minimum distances allowed for by Iowa Code and Board Policy. We are considering moving to the minimum distances from school legally allowed under Iowa Code for service to be required by our district. For elementary and middle-level students (K-8) that is two miles and for high school students (9-12) that is three miles. For reference, our current minimum distances are one mile (K-5) and two miles (6-12). We also provide transportation for students whose walk requires crossing major roadways/intersections. We plan to continue to honor the situations that involve crossing major roadways/intersections. We will further evaluate the minimum distances utilized. If you are currently a pay-to-ride family, we want you to know this now so you can make contingency plans for different arrangements for transportation as may be necessary. We plan to have these decisions made no later than July 28, 2020.