Dear Belmond-Klemme Parents and Community Members:
During this third week of November, Belmond-Klemme Schools identified a total of two (2) students and one teacher this week as testing positive for COVID-19. This letter is intended to update you with some important information, and to reassure you that the Belmond-Klemme Community School District continues to take every step possible to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.
The student cases do not appear to result from activities in our school. Our careful and compartmentalized instructional delivery system in our classrooms continues to work to protect our students while in school. The district is working with the Iowa Department of Public Health and Wright County Public Health. The infected students are all currently at home recovering. In addition, 42 students are currently in quarantine due to close contact and exposure to positive cases.
The expanding outbreak of COVID-19 in Iowa does not appear to be affecting our rate of school attendance. Here at BK as of yesterday, Thursday, November 19, our absence rate was 4% sick in the elementary school and 3% sick in the secondary school. This is comparable to a normal year in November. Under state rules, quarantined students cannot be included in our absence rate.
At a coronavirus task force briefing held at the White House yesterday (Thursday, November 19), Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director Robert Redfield said evidence shows that students are contracting the respiratory illness from family gatherings and local events rather than schools: “The infections that we’ve identified in schools when they’ve been evaluated were not acquired in schools. They were actually acquired in the community and in the household.”
Redfield went on to state, “The truth is, for kids K-12, one of the safest places they can be, from our perspective, is to remain in school, and it’s really important that following the data, making sure we don’t make emotional decisions about what to close and what not to close.”
I want to remind our students: if you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should contact your physician immediately. You will continue to be notified like this if or when we have further diagnosed cases of COVID-19 within our school buildings. Our greatest priority is the safety of our students, staff, and families. Please continue to take necessary precautions to protect yourself and those around you.
We encourage all of you to continue following the CDC’s recommendations to remain healthy and well. We are grateful for the opportunity to serve you and your family, especially as we face this challenging situation together. Thank you for your support of Belmond-Klemme Schools.
Dan Frazier, Ed.D.
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