Curricular & Spiritual Connections 11-06-20

Quarantining, COVID-19 Testing, and Self-Reporting
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.-Philippians 2:4 When I reflect on this bible verse I think about this time of pandemic. This week at St. Paul’s we have had a couple of phone calls expressing concerns. One of the concerns has been about a parent of one of their child’s classmates. This other parent has been rumored to be experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and may have had a direct exposure. The caller told us that there may be other parents who are making a choice to not get tested for COVID-19 so that they can still send their children to school. Unfortunately we can’t act on rumors. Not knowing if there is a positive COVID-19 test there is nothing that we or Public Health can do to move students who have had direct exposure to quarantine. To help us prevent a school wide-breakout, we need our school family to self-report, to get tested if you have symptoms or know you have been exposed. Please walk in the Christian way and look beyond your own interests to the welfare of others. We know if we can work together during this pandemic to continue to provide the best possible education for our students right here in our school at St. Paul’s. Thank you for your collaboration in keeping us all safe and healthy.

Remote Learning at St. Paul’s Lutheran School
As we continue to reach out to our remote learners, as well as prepare online learning for those under quarantine I have been asked about what would cause us to move the school to virtual learning. If an entire school is considering moving to virtual learning, a waiver must be requested from the Iowa Department of Education. The following information helps to explain the requirements needed: The Iowa Department of Education and Public Health guidelines recommend applying for a waiver for temporary Continuous/Remote Learning for an entire school building or district for up to 14 days if both of the following criteria have been met.

  • 15-20% positivity in the county on average over the past 14 days
  • 10% absenteeism among students expected for in-person learning (Note…this doesn’t count our kids that are quarantined because they were exposed.  This only counts our kids that are actually sick/ill/tested positive.)

Only the Departments of Education and Public Health can make the determination and provide temporary authorization to move to 100% online or remote learning. This plan is fluid and subject to change as more information becomes available. Here is the link to see districts that have made remote learning requests: Requests to Move to Remote Learning for a School Building or District.  Bremer County has a positivity rate of 19.2% but St. Paul’s School’s absenteeism rates continue to fall below the 10% threshold. These absenteeism rates only apply to students that are actually ill, not those quarantining due to an exposure. We will continue to pray for healthy students.

Mental Health and Anxiety Supports
COVID Recovery Iowa offers free counseling and other services to any Iowan who has been affected by COVID-19. COVID Recovery Iowa is a grant that Iowa received in order to offer services and support to individuals and families who have been impacted by COVID-19. COVID Recovery Iowa provides support groups, crisis counseling, educational and supportive information to those in need over email, phone, zoom and social media. Share this information with your family and friends!