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Anamosa Schools heading online for two weeks due to community COVID-19 rates

The Anamosa Community School District administrative office building.
The Anamosa Community School District administrative office building.(Courtesy: Anamosa Community School District)
Published: Nov. 2, 2020 at 7:02 PM CST
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ANAMOSA, Iowa (KCRG) - A Jones County school district is switching to virtual learning for the coming weeks due to recent high positive test rates of the illness caused by the novel coronavirus in the area.

The Anamosa Community School District will begin online, continuous learning plans on Tuesday, November 3, through Monday, November 16, according to a letter to parents sent by superintendent Larry Hall and Carl Chalstrom, president of the school board. District leaders cited the high test positivity rates in Anamosa, at 19.9% over the last two weeks, and Jones County, at 17.3%, as the reason for the change.

State education officials approved a waiver for Anamosa to move online, despite falling short of the 20% county positivity threshold for automatic online learning approval. State rules also allow districts to move online temporarily if the county’s positivity rate is 15% and a certain number of students are absent from class.

Individual schools will send out further information to parents ahead of Tuesday, the district said. Breakfast and lunch pickup will be provided on Tuesdays and Thursdays for families who sign up.

Attendance will be required during the virtual learning period.

Athletics and extracurricular activities are canceled in the district as of Monday.

Read the full letter to district families below:

"Dear ACSD Community,

We are saddened to announce that we will be transitioning to online Continuous Learning for the next two weeks because of current positivity rates in Jones County. The Jones County Public Health Department has made this recommendation due to Anamosa’s 19.9% positivity rate and Jones County’s 17.2% positivity rate.

The Iowa Department of Education recommends transitioning to continuous learning when rates exceed 15%. Additionally, all athletics and extracurricular activities will be canceled during this time starting after school today, Monday, November 2nd.

Continuous Learning will take place from Tuesday, November 3rd – Monday, November 16th. Each building will be sending out additional information today regarding specific information for your student’s learning over the next two weeks.

Breakfast and lunch pick-up will be available at Anamosa Middle School on Tuesday and Thursdays from 12:00 – 1:00. Please sign up here. You only need to sign up once. Pick up will be available tomorrow, but please sign up by Wednesday at 6PM so we may have an accurate count for the remainder of the time we are out. Once we return back to school we will return to our hybrid model with lunches in school and our pick-up program for online families.

Attendance/participation for students will be required throughout the two weeks of continuous learning sessions. If your student is sick and unable to participate in the learning, please call in an absence as you would normally.

We are sorry we are at this point, and we understand the extra burden this puts on our families; however, given the current conditions of our city and county wide positivity rate of COVID-19 we are forced to make these very difficult decisions.

Sincerely,

Superintendent Larry Hunt

School Board President Carl Chalstrom"

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