Western Dubuque Community School District
Address: 310 4th St. SW, PO Box 68 | Farley, IA 52046
Phone: (563) 744-3885
Fax: (563) 744-3093
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January 29, 2021
Good Afternoon:

A bill mandating that all districts offer five-day-a-week school was given to the governor to sign on Thursday, January 28th. Now that the governor has signed this bill, we will be required to have school five days a week beginning no sooner than the week of February 15th. We have been working on a plan for returning to school five days a week. Below is our plan for returning to school five days a week, regardless of the date this mandate begins.

  • The exact start date for moving to five-day-a-week school will be communicated once it is established by the legislation.
  • We will begin school at the regular start time on Fridays.
  • We will dismiss school 2 hours early each Friday. This time will be used for staff collaboration, staff professional learning, and to provide teachers with additional time to work with any student who is on temporary home isolation.
  • Full-time virtual learning will no longer be an option for all students. The current group of virtual students will have the following options:
    1. The student can remain in the virtual learning format if they have a note from their doctor indicating that they are unable to return to school for a medical reason. This medical reason could be due to their own health issues, or due to the compromised health of another member of their household. This note from the doctor must be submitted to the student’s school principal by Thursday, February 4th.
    2. The student can choose to return to school and attend five days a week.
    3. The parents of the student can explore other educational options including enrolling in a state approved online school or home schooling.
    4. Due to the small number of students who will remain in the virtual learning format, they will not likely be able to continue working with their current teacher(s).
      1. For each grade level or course taught, one teacher will be assigned to serve the needs of all students who are learning virtually at that grade level across the district.
      2. For example: One third grade teacher will be assigned to be the virtual teacher for every third-grade student in the district. So, a third-grade teacher from Dyersville Elementary might be the person assigned to work with all virtual third grade students, regardless of the building they would normally attend.
      3. The same is true for all secondary teachers. A CHS student taking Algebra I may end up working virtually with a math teacher from WDHS on that course.
      4. Virtual students who have an IEP will continue to be provided with their specially designed instruction, but the teacher delivering that instruction may change as well.
      5. Since the teachers working with virtual learners will be doing this in addition to teaching their students face-to-face, five-days-a-week, opportunities for them to individually support or connect students will be limited to hours outside the regular school day.
    5. We need to know how many students will remain learning in a virtual setting no later than Thursday, February 4th. This information is critical to us so that we are able to find the staff needed to work with all of our virtual learners outside of their normal contract hours.
This move to having school five days a week is something we were considering as a district prior to the introduction of this legislation. We are looking forward to having our students back in school, but we know that this change will be an adjustment for some of our families. We know this plan isn’t perfect, but we believe that it will meet the needs of the students and staff in our district to the best of our ability at this time.

Thank you and take care.

Rick Colpitts, Superintendent
Western Dubuque Community School District

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