January 1, 2021 Announcements

COVID-19 Pandemic Update – January 2021

Our job at North High School goes beyond teaching and learning. Safety has always been a top priority. This year, it is no different. Here are a few quick, points for your reference:

  • Masks: We are proud of our students and staff for their cooperation during this time. We expect our students, staff, and guests to appropriately wear masks at all times. We have had minimal issues with non-compliance in this area. Lunch is the only time students are interacting without masks. The vast majority eat and mask up immediately. Students have been encouraged to report non-compliance to me directly or through Let’s Talk so that it can be quickly addressed and remediated.
  • Quarantine: Over the past few weeks, we have seen an increase in students quarantining due to family or outside exposure. We encourage our students, and families, to wear masks and practice social distancing in order to keep us in school. We work with Siouxland District Health to determine return dates for those exposed. Once they return, we process all students through our Retention Specialist to develop a plan for work recovery. We do ask that students continue to complete work if quarantined and healthy. The video below was shared with students prior to Thanksgiving to clarify these expectations for prolonged absences.
  • Illnesses: Our illness rate has averaged 4.4% this school year. The current 10-day average is 4.2%. This is something we monitor daily. This number includes all illnesses and injuries – not just those COVID-related. It is the number of students impacted by an illness for one or more periods and only includes those students who are in face to face learning. If we near 7%, we begin conversations about our learning model at the building level. Our mitigation efforts (masks, one direction hallways, disinfecting, cleaning) have kept our illnesses low. We do encourage parents to continue to call in illnesses so our data and information is accurate.
  • Learning Models: We are prepared to move to any learning model the School Board approves. Our teachers have received additional training on virtual learning. Much of that training was around virtual learning/classroom expectations and utilizing Microsoft Teams. Teachers also practiced a virtual lesson with each of their classes. This allowed us to troubleshoot professional development needs for teachers, student technology issues – software and hardware, and connectivity issues. We have also issued a large number of internet hotspots to students so that they can connect at home. If our learning model changes, we expect all students to connect from home.