Here are the latest updates from the Dubuque Community School District:

As a district, we continue working hard to keep up with changing circumstances and shifting guidance from our state education leaders. Last Friday, the Iowa Department of Education changed course when it reversed its long-standing guidance and announced that it would provide an expedited application process for school districts to provide online education for students.

While we have yet to see this application process, we believe it is important to move forward with providing students with learning. Our school principals and members of our educational support team have been meeting regularly to discuss how to best proceed with providing learning opportunities to students.

Tomorrow, the district will launch a second phase of educational resources for elementary, middle and high school students and families. These resources will be expanded to include a variety of handouts and worksheets students can do at home.

Beginning mid next week, middle and high schools will transition to providing students with optional, teacher-guided lessons and feedback from teachers on student work. Elementary teachers will continue to reach out and engage with students and families via Seesaw, email and phone.

Teachers will guide instructional activities and tasks that support daily learning for those wishing to participate, but we will not attempt to replicate a six-hour school day. With many adults working from home and juggling other responsibilities, we want to provide flexibility for students to complete learning at times when they have family support and supervision.

Keeping internet connectivity in mind, we are in the process of acquiring hotspots that will be available for checkout to families of middle and high school students to reduce the barrier of internet access. More details will be forthcoming regarding checkout of these hotspots.

While we know that online delivery will never look the same or be as beneficial as the education that happens in our classrooms, we are committed to providing the best possible experience to students as we navigate these uncertain times together.

We are finalizing the specifics of how this learning will be delivered and will share additional information later this week.