BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – With more than 130 new cases of COVID-19 in Lee County over the weekend, coupled with a 14-day positivity rate of 18.8%, Fort Madison school officials have decided to put the district back into 100% virtual learning for two weeks starting Wednesday.
According to the Fort Madison Community School District website, the district applied to the Iowa Dept. of Education to get approval to go back to a virtual learning model starting Wednesday.
The state processes applications after reviewing county positivity rates and absentee rates at the district’s buildings. The district is also seeing absentee rates between 1%-7% for staff and 1%-6% for students.
The FMCSD has also collaborated with the Lee County Health Department regarding the rise in the positivity rates. The LCHD is in full support of the district’s application.
With Fort Madison having students in three counties, the highest rate is considered. Des Moines County hit a high of 20% late last week. Henry County is at 19.5% with all three counties expected to rise.
The FMCSD will begin 100% required virtual learning on Wednesday, November 11, 2020 through Tuesday, November 24, 2020. According to the district’s current calendar, Thanksgiving break begins Wednesday, November 25, 2020. Face to face learning will resume on Tuesday, Dec. 1 following the Thanksgiving holiday.
“The safety of our staff and students continues to be the highest priority in the FMCSD. We are hopeful that this mitigation effort will help reduce the rates and health risks of our school district community,” Superintendent Dr. Erin Slater wrote on the website.