GRAB N’ GO FLYERS – Now Allowing Parents to Pick up Meals for Children 3-27-20

New USDA Guidance – Allowing Parents to Pick Up Meals for Children

Due to newly-released USDA guidance, caregivers may pick up meals for children at Grab & Go meal sites, effective immediately. USDA recognizes that in this public health emergency, continuing to require children to come to the meal site to pick up meals may not be practical and in keeping with the goal of providing meals while also taking appropriate safety measures.  

CLICK HERE for the updated flyer.

Updated 3-24-20 Grab N’ Go Meals for Children 18 Years and Under

UPDATED: TUESDAY, March 24, 2020 College Community Schools has implemented a GRAB N’ GO Meal Distribution program. Free meals regardless of income level for children 18 years and under are now available at the following 9 locations Monday through Friday beginning Tuesday, March 24, 2020 until further notice. 

Click here for updated details and times.

School Closure Information from Superintendent Dr. Doug Wheeler

Prairie Families:

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Doug Wheeler sent a letter to all district arents regarding school closure. Click here to review the letter.

Also, Dr. Wheeler has a VIDEO MESSAGE for College Community parents. The video is also posted on our district YouTube channel.

We appreciate your patience as we continue to work through the uncharted territory of school closure.  

District Office

College Community Announces Closure

MARCH 16, 2020 UPDATE: Yesterday evening, Governor Reynolds recommended a 4-week closure of Iowa schools to combat the spread of COVID-19.

This letter is to inform you that College Community Schools will be following this recommendation and shutting down school operations for four weeks.  For CCSD, this means the 3 weeks after we were scheduled to return from spring break.  Under this action, students will not be returning to school until Monday, April 13.  I also want to overview our plan to communicate further on this matter as our ability to finalize and release our plan is contingent on several state-level matters.

Until yesterday, the governor’s recommendation was NOT to close school.  However, our CCSD team has been working on contingency plans for possible closure for over a week.  The logistics, feasibility, and legal authority to take action on all elements of this plan are still uncertain.  Therefore, we cannot finalize plans until mid-week. 

Today, lawmakers are meeting to discuss the items.  We need answers to these questions before we can finalize and communicate our full plan:

  1. Will school districts be required to make up these days?
  2. What can learning opportunities look like during school closure?
  3. Can we continue food service in some way? (CCSD has applied for a waiver to provide meals to students during this closure and the approval is pending)
  4. What are the options for employees to be compensated during school closure?

While spring break gives us more time than we would normally have, we know that our staff and families want and need information as soon as possible.  This shutdown will impact every aspect of our community and the lives of our families, including, but not limited to childcare, meal planning, and educational interruption.  There is not one sector or individual in our community that will not be impacted in some way. 

We are working as quickly as possible to finalize plans.  In addition to working with our school teams, schools throughout the region are working together to generate effective responses to this shutdown.

Here is a quick summary of what we can determine at the moment:

  1. All CCSD schools will remain closed to students and the public (including community use and rentals) until Monday, April 13.
  2. We will continue to keep ECC daycare and school-age services open by observing CDC recommendations unless closure is directed by the department of health. 
  3. We will continue the restrictions put in place during spring break until April 13 related to practices and activities.  Spring Break Letter
  4. The unions representing our state’s extracurricular activities released a joint message that they will also honor the governor’s recommendation and suspend competition and practice until April 13.
  5. Since this situation evolves hourly, we cannot at this time make or finalize plans for activities occurring after the April 13th return to school.  This includes yearly events such as prom and graduation.  We will continue to monitor recommendations from public health that may impact these events.

Our goal is to release our full plan related to the 4-week shutdown as soon as possible, with a goal of communicating additional details to staff and families by midweek this week.   First, we must have answers from our legislature, legal counsel, and the governor to important questions that will significantly impact our plan.  All area schools are in the same situation and we continue to work together to expedite these answers and our planning processes.

We also need your help.  Here is how you can help to make this school closure effective in decreasing the spread of COVID-19.  These recommendations are based on guidance from Linn County Public Health, the Iowa Department of Public Health, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

CONSIDERATIONS DURING SCHOOL CLOSURE:

  • When making arrangements for childcare, take into account that grandparents may be in high-risk categories related to age and/or underlying health conditions.
  • Students should avoid social gatherings in their homes or in public during the duration of this school closure.
  • Students should stay home when ill.

GENERAL PREVENTION STRATEGIES:

  1. All people with flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath should stay home from work, public spaces, and social gatherings to prevent others from getting ill.
  2. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and throw the tissue away immediately after you use it.  If a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze into your inside elbow area. 
  3. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you cough or sneeze.  If you are not near water, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. 
  4. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. 
  5. Avoid travel and large gatherings in the coming weeks. 
  6. Please remember that people with underlying health conditions are at greater risk.

Trusted resources for additional information about COVID-19 and Coronavirus are available here:

In Service,

Doug Wheeler, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools

Update on COVID-19 from Metro Superintendents

The College Community School District has been working closely with our metro districts regarding the COVID-19 virus. The schools are monitoring the situation daily.

Click here for for the joint press release from the College Community School District, Cedar Rapids School District, Linn Mar Community School District, and the Marion Independent School District, and Xavier Catholic Schools.

Alisha Frese to Lead Prairie Softball Program

Prairie High School has named Alisha Frese as it new softball coach. Frese replaces Erin Johnson who resigned at the conclusion of the softball season.

Frese comes to Prairie with an extensive and successful head coaching background. Since 2004, Frese has led the Dubuque Hempstead program where her teams averaged 26 plus wins per season. During her tenure at Hempstead she has an overall record of 431-253 and is a seven time Coach of the Year recipient.
 
“We are extremely excited and fortunate to have coach Frese lead our program,” said Activities Director Rocky Bennett. “She is a proven winner and I am very excited for the experience our student-athletes and fans will have with her leadership.”

Frese is a graduate of Kirkwood Community College and Clarke University where she received All Conference, District and Regional Honors. During her college career she also was named a two-time Captain and MVP. Frese received her BA and Health Endorsement from Clarke University and will be teaching Physical Education at Prairie Point Middle School.  

“I am excited to lead such a great program,” said Frese. “I have had the opportunity to coach against Prairie and have seen their progression over the years. They have outstanding facilities, great student athletes and dedicated staff. To be part of the Prairie community is truly exciting.”

COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) UPDATES

Date:  March 10, 2020: We want to assure you that we are closely following the developments with the novel (new) coronavirus and the illness known as COVID-19.  We will provide updates as new information that may affect the health and safety of students and staff is available.  

As in past situations where our community has faced the possibility of an outbreak of a contagious illness, College Community School District will follow recommendations from the Iowa Department of Education, Linn County Public Health, the Iowa Department of Public Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Everyone can do their part in prevention and preparation:

  • First and foremost, please keep your child home from school if they are sick with flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath. It is recommended that people with these symptoms stay home from school, work, public spaces, and social gatherings to prevent others from getting ill.  
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and throw the tissue away immediately after you use it.  If a tissue is not available, cough or sneeze into your inside elbow area.  
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you cough or sneeze.  If you are not near water, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.  
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.  
  • Avoid travel and large gatherings in the coming weeks.  

As a school district, we are taking the following prevention and monitoring steps as recommended by the Iowa Department of Public Health:

  • As it becomes available from our suppliers, all classrooms and high-traffic areas will have hand sanitizer available for use by students, staff, and visitors.  
  • School staff will frequently reinforce the importance of appropriately washing hands to prevent the spread of illness with students.  
  • As supplies are available in our area, classrooms will have anti-bacterial wipes for school staff to use as needed throughout the day.
  • Our custodians regularly clean and disinfect all classrooms and common areas daily.  We will enhance these routines by applying additional disinfectant to commonly touched surfaces and restrooms.  Busses will also be sanitized daily.
  • We are monitoring locations in which students and staff are scheduled to be traveling, both within the country and internationally and supporting the cancellation or rescheduling of those experiences.  Additional information will be shared with families who are affected.
  • We are monitoring student and staff attendance daily at all schools and district-wide to determine any fluctuations in our attendance patterns.

Trusted resources for additional information about COVID-19 and Coronavirus are available here:

Andrew Davis Officially Named Associate Principal at Prairie Point Middle School

The College Community School District officially named Andrew Davis as the Associate Principal/Activities Director at Prairie Point Middle School and 9th grade academy pending Board approval. Davis was currently serving as the interim Associate Principal/Activities Director due to the summer resignation of Matt Russell. 

“Andrew has been a committed member of the Prairie Hawk community for over 20 years, serving as a teacher, coach, teacher leader, and most recently interim associate principal,” said Prairie Point Principal Kyle Koeppen. “He has developed many positive relationships and connections at Point and in our school community which will serve our students well.”

Davies, who is in his 21st year in education, has been with the College Community School District for 20 years. During his tenure, all at Prairie Point Middle School Point, Davis taught Science, served as the Building Facilitator and coached a variety of sports.

“It has been an honor to serve the College Community School District in various roles throughout my career,” said Davis. “I am honored and privileged to have this opportunity and I look forward to working with our dedicated staff and serving the students and families at Prairie Point in this new capacity.”

Davis earned his Bachelor of Arts in Education degree from the University of Northern Iowa, a Master’s Degree in Teaching Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Saint Mary and a Master of Educational Leadership with Principal Licensure from the University of Iowa.

The latest news from College Community Schools.