Waterloo Schools COVID Mitigation Procedures:
Click HERE to find Covid District Data.
September 17, 2021 Update:
Dear Waterloo Families,
Thank you for your patience as our Waterloo team has met through the week with dozens of professionals including health officials, our Return to Learn committee, and other superintendents to design a plan for our Waterloo families and staff.
Our plan is designed to mitigate virus spread, ensure in-person instruction can continue, and allow for modifications as needed. Waterloo and Cedar Falls Community School Districts have worked closely to ensure we’re following similar processes.
THE WATERLOO PLAN
Middle Schools and High Schools will continue to operate with masks strongly encouraged. Most students at these levels have access to COVID-19 vaccinations, had the option of choosing virtual learning (even at a time when mask mandates were banned), and are able to continue wearing masks. We will monitor sixth grade, recognizing that not all students in that grade level have had access to vaccines.
PK and Elementary Schools (because no vaccines are available for students at this age group) — starting on Monday, September 20 — will operate with a temporary one-week-long mask mandate. This means students and staff will be required to wear masks through the instructional day. Masks will be provided to students upon their arrival on Monday, unless they have one available.
During that week, we will be:
- working to establish a metrics system that would be released by the end of the day on September 24, 2021, that would detail our next steps at the elementary building level, and
- working to make more vaccine clinics available.
As we’ve always done, we’ll continue to work hard to determine next steps informed by professional guidance, the law (and the complexity of the possible interpretations), and the needs of our families and staff. No plan is perfect. No plan will please everyone. No plan will be the best or clear “right” option for all families. Our approach has been determined with the needs of our entire school district staff and families in mind.
Thank you for your cooperation as we work together through this pandemic.
September 13, 2021 Update:
As you know, in May Governor Reynolds signed legislation prohibiting schools from requiring masks. This afternoon, a federal judge ruled that the state does not have the authority to prohibit schools from having a mask mandate. The judge’s ruling is only a couple of hours old and this situation is very complex. We are working tonight and tomorrow to interpret this ruling and better understand how it impacts our protocols.
Until we know more, we will continue with our current protocols:
Masks are strongly encouraged in all school buildings.
Per federal requirement (which has not been impacted by today’s temporary injunction), students riding the bus must continue to wear masks.
All additional mitigation strategies will continue to be in place.
The topic of masks is polarizing and, as with any district, we have parents and staff who fall on both sides. It is our responsibility to make decisions aligned with the law — state and federal — and informed by health officials. Please know that we are working swiftly to understand and interpret this afternoon’s ruling and will continue to communicate with you regarding this complex issue in the coming days. For now, please continue to follow current protocols listed above.
August Back to School Update:
- Cleaning protocols. We will employ the same enhanced cleaning procedures as last year, with high contact surfaces being cleaned multiple times daily.
- Desk Shields. Desk shields will not be required this year, but they will be available should individual students request them.
- At this time, masks cannot be required in schools; however, we do strongly encourage mask-wearing and following healthy practices such as frequent handwashing.
- Masks are required on busses due to federal law.
We understand that the mask usage seems contradictory, but the state and federal mandates differ from one another and we must adhere to both.
- Protocol for COVID-19 positive. Students who test positive for Covid-19 will remain home until they are no longer infectious. Persons sick with Covid-19 are considered infectious for at least 10 days after symptoms first appeared AND at least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medications AND other symptoms of Covid-19 are improving. Persons who tested positive for Covid-19 but did not develop symptoms are considered infectious until 10 days have passed following the date of the positive test. The above guidance applies to both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. Families need to contact the school to let them know if their child is positive.
- Protocol for exposures to a positive Covid-19 case. If your child is exposed to a positive case at school you will be informed and asked to monitor for symptoms. If exposed outside of school you should also monitor for symptoms. If your child develops symptoms you should keep them home, inform the school, and follow the advice of health care officials on testing and quarantining. Do not send your child to school if they are ill. If your child develops symptoms while at school you will be called to pick up your child.
- Students with symptoms of any illness. Students who have symptoms aligning with cold, flu, etc. should always stay home until symptoms have improved. To return to school, a student with COVID-similar symptoms will need either a negative COVID test OR a note from a doctor stating the symptoms are not COVID-related before they can return to school OR they need to be isolated for 10 days.
- Health Office. Please contact your school nurse if you have questions regarding Covid 19 or other illnesses before sending your child to school. We are here to support our students and families and answer any questions you might have.
- Vaccine availability. Waterloo Schools, in conjunction with UnityPoint, is offering a vaccination clinic @ East High School on Wednesday, August 18 from 3:00 – 7:00 pm. Use entrance #1 (the main entrance) and proceed down the stairs to the commons. The whole family (12 years of age and older) is welcome to get the vaccination. (Second dose given September 9th.)
- You may also contact your health provider for vaccination information, OR
- Click HERE for information regarding other opportunities to be vaccinated for anyone 12 and older.
- Reporting positive cases. To provide current information, we will post the number of positive cases for staff and students on our website similar to last year.
- Travel requirements. There are currently no requirements to isolate after travel outside of the country; however, public health officials are still recommending testing 3-5 days after returning from travel.
- Visitors to our buildings. We will allow visitors/parents to enter buildings when necessary; however, as we start the new year, we are asking parents and others to enter buildings only as necessary.
- More information. More guidance can be found using the following links: