Fort Dodge Community School District

Return to Learn Plan

FDCSD COVID-19 Updates

The District will provide updates related to COVID-19 on this page for as long as needed.  The newest updates will be placed at the top of the page. This list of Frequently Asked Questions will be updated as more information becomes available.  A list of online learning resources has also been compiled and will be updated as more resources are identified. Additionally, families have free access to three online learning programs from Age of Learning.  We've also compiled a list of community resources available to assist families.  Resources are also available from the Iowa Department of Human Rights. Webster County COVID-19 Informational Hotline

The Webster County Public Health Department has a website dedicated to COVID-19 updates and is providing a hotline as well. 

DISTRICT UPDATES:

June 11, 5 p.m.

Dodger Families - The school year we just finished was unlike any other. While there are still many unknowns about how the public health landscape will look in the next few months, we are already hard at work planning for the 20-21 school year. All of our plans support your students' health, safety and learning. 

At this time, we are preparing to return to a face-to-face learning environment in the fall. With new health and safety protocols in place, we are hopeful we will welcome students and staff back to our buildings when school starts on August 25. Our goal as a District is to have onsite instruction for all of our students and to maintain as much of a normal schedule as possible. 

If the state does not allow us to continue having school with all of our students onsite, we are also planning for a school day that may include a model with some students learning onsite in classrooms while others learn remotely at home. This plan allows for smaller groups of students to be in our schools at one time to help accommodate social distancing guidelines should they still be in place when school starts. 

Additionally, if the state deems it unsafe for students to attend onsite, we are planning a way to support all students learning remotely at home should it be needed for public health reasons. This model would require remote student learning at home rather than it being optional. 

We are carefully preparing these three learning scenarios and each of the plans is focused on how we can best support our students, staff and families. We will be prepared to move from one model to another during the school year if necessary. More information will be shared as the start of the school year gets closer and we know more about what the public health landscape looks like at that time. We've missed our students and are excited to see them this fall! 

May 22, 4:30 p.m.

With the Central Office opening back up to the public on Tuesday, May 25, we are going to change the process for Chromebook and staff laptop repair.  Beginning Tuesday, and continuing throughout the summer, individuals needing Chromebook or staff laptop repair may drop their devices off at the Central Office between 8 - 4:30 Monday through Friday. There will be a form for you to complete when you drop your device off. Repairs will be made and student Chromebooks will be available for pick up 48 hours after they were dropped off. Staff laptop repair may take longer so specific pick up details will be communicated to you when it's ready. We hope the expanded time for dropping off devices makes it more convenient for you.

May 19, 3:00 p.m.

Our free Grab and Go lunch program has been extended through June 30th.  Lunches will only be distributed at Butler Elementary and Duncombe Elementary from 11:30 to 12:20 Monday through Friday. The Duncombe location will move to the parking lot on the northeast side of the school for the month of June.  We will not be using a bus as the distribution point, but instead will hand meals out curbside.  Individuals should stay in their vehicles for window delivery. Lunches are available to kids age 1 to 18 and meals can be picked up at either location regardless of what school children attend.  We look forward to serving you from Butler and Duncombe throughout the month of June.   

May 9, 11 a.m.

Outdoor wifi is now available in specific areas outside of Butler Elementary, Duncombe Elementary, FDMS, FDSH and the Central Office. Maps showing the best coverage areas are posted on the COVID-19 update page of fdschools.org and were sent to families who receive email from the District. Weather and distance do affect the wifi signal, so the closer you can park to the access points the better.  When using our outdoor wifi, please stay in your vehicles and follow all social distancing guidelines. 

May 8, 3:00 p.m.

Preschool and Elementary Families - additional continuous learning materials were mailed to students today. The mailing includes everything needed for the remainder of May. Wtih the longer than normal break due to the pandemic, we want to continue to provide opportunities for students to practice their skills throughout the summer. Starting in June and continuing throughout the summer, you will receive a packet of continuous learning materials every two weeks. We are hopeful students will continue to practice their core skills over the summer. We appreciate your continued efforts to help and encourage your child.

May 8, 9:30 a.m.

FDMS families who have not already can pick up student things until 4 p.m. today. Pull up on the south side of the building and someone will come out to help you. There is a lot of student stuff still in the building including instruments, medication, clothing and general supplies. This is your last chance to retrieve these items before fall. We hope to see more of you today!

May 5, 7:30 p.m.

Senior Families - Thank you so much for your patience as we've worked to determine our plans for important spring events.  We know that Prom, Class Night and Graduation are on your minds and they have been on ours, too.  We have been able to make some initial decisions about these events and want to communicate what we know at this time.

First, as we shared before, since the school closure was extended through the end of the school year, Prom is cancelled.   We understand this is disappointing, but our top priority is keeping our students, staff and families safe at this time. 

Class Night, which was scheduled for May 28, will not be held in person.  We are currently working on a virtual option to share the scholarship and award announcements that would have been made that night.  Stay tuned for more details on what this will look like and when it will be released. 

Finally, in regards to graduation, as we previously shared, commencement will not be held on May 31 as originally scheduled.  We know how important this event is to students and families and so are postponing graduation in hopes of still being able to hold an in person ceremony.  Please mark your calendars for Sunday, July 26, as we have tentatively scheduled graduation for that evening at Dodger Stadium.  We will be following all social distancing guidelines given by the state at that time, which could include limiting the number of guests per graduate and different seating arrangements than in the past. Contingency plans are being made in the event we are still unable to gather in large groups at this time.  

We know this was not the way any of you expected to end your Dodger experience.  We also know that you are a strong, resilient group who will use this experience to make our world a better place.  We are hopeful we will be able to celebrate with you on July 26.

May 3, 5 p.m.

For those of you who pick up Grab and Go lunches at Duncombe Elementary, the location will be different tomorrow due to families picking up student belongings. Grab and Go lunch distribution will take place in the back parking lot at Duncombe Elementary tomorrow, Monday, May 4. Entrance to the back parking lot is off of 7th Avenue North. This change will only be for tomorrow. Distribution will resume at the normal spot on Tuesday.

May 2, 11 a.m.

Feelhaver Elementary Families - as a reminder, Feelhaver will do student belonging pickup from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. this Monday, May 4, in our parking lot.  As you arrive to pick up the items, please pull through the parking lot, stopping near your child's grade level. Areas will be labeled by grade level. We will not take belongings across the street. Please stay in your vehicle and a staff member will deliver the bagged items to you.  No one will be allowed to exit their vehicle or to enter the building.  We appreciate you following these directions to help keep everyone safe.  

In addition to us returning student materials we ask that all school library books be returned at this time. Please bring any library books your child has at home with you when you come to pick up their belongings.

Our teachers are looking forward to seeing your children and getting to wave at them through car windows! 

May 2, 11 a.m.

Duncombe Families - as a reminder, Duncombe will do student belonging pickup from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. this Monday, May 4, in our front driveway.  As you arrive to pick up the items please pull through the lot, stopping near your child's grade level. Areas will be labeled and will be the same areas as we use for student pick up after school with 4th grade by the gym then 3rd, 2nd, 1st and Kindergarten by the exit to 16th Street.

If you have multiple children to help with traffic flow, please pull forward to the youngest grade level and staff will get you all of the belongings.  Please stay in your vehicle and a staff member will deliver the bagged items to you.  We will have plenty of staff members available to assist all of our families.  No one will be allowed to exit their vehicle or to enter the building. We appreciate you following these directions to help keep everyone safe. 

In addition to us returning student materials we ask that all school library books be returned at this time. Please bring any books your child has at home with you when you come to pick up their belongings. 

Also, due to student supply pick up, our daily lunch will be served in the back parking lot on Monday, May 4, from 11:30-12:30.

May 2, 11 a.m.

Cooper Elementary Families - as a reminder, Cooper will do student belonging pickup from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. this Monday, May 4. Please stay in your vehicle and a staff member will deliver the bagged items to you curbside. The following locations have been set for each grade:

  • 4th grade- near the east door of the building in the parking lot.
  • 3rd grade- near the east door on 14th Avenue North.
  • 2nd grade- near the west door on 14th Avenue North.
  • 1st grade- near the south end of school on North 24th Street.
  • Kindergarten - Near the north end of school on North 24th Street.  

In addition to us returning student materials we ask that all school library books be returned at this time. Please bring any library books your child has at home with you when you come to pick up their belongings.

As you arrive to pick up the items please pull up to the curb. We will not take belongings across the street.  Please stay in your vehicle and a staff member will deliver the bagged items to you curbside.  No one will be allowed to exit their vehicle or to enter the building. We appreciate you following these directions to help keep everyone safe. Our teachers are looking forward to seeing your children and getting to wave at them through car windows!  

May 2, 11 a.m.

Butler Elementary Families - as a reminder, Butler will do student belonging pickup from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. this Monday, May 4, using the following schedule:

  • 11 am -12 pm Kindergarten
  • 12-1 pm 1st Grade
  • 1-2 pm 2nd Grade
  • 2-3 pm 3rd Grade
  • 3-4 pm 4th Grade
  • 4-7 pm Anyone unable to come during their designated time.

Families with more than one Butler student should come during the youngest child's designated grade time. If this time doesn't work for your family please pick up your children's items from 4-7 PM. Items for all siblings will be placed together and returned together at one time.

In addition to us returning student materials we ask that all school library books be returned at this time. Please bring any library books your child has at home with you when you come to pick up their belongings.

Distribution of student belongings will take place using the circle drive on the east side of the building. Please stay in your vehicle and a staff member will deliver the bagged items to you curbside.  No one will be allowed to exit their vehicle or to enter the building. We appreciate you following these directions to help keep everyone safe. 

May 2, 10:30 a.m.

Riverside ELC Families - as a reminder, Riverside will do student belonging pickup from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. this Monday, May 4. Cars will enter the first driveway on the left (opposite of our usual traffic flow) and stop at the curb by the flagpole. Staff will be directing traffic. Please stay in your vehicle and a staff member will deliver the bagged items to you.  No one will be allowed to exit their vehicle or to enter the building. We appreciate you following these directions to help keep everyone safe. 

In addition to us returning student materials we ask that all school library books be returned at this time. Please bring any library books your child has at home with you when you come to pick up their belongings.

May 1, 5 p.m.

Senior High Families - as a reminder, students can pick up personal belongings left at the high school on Monday, May 4, from 10 - 4 and again on Tuesday, May 5, from 10-4 and from 5-7.

In addition to us returning student materials we ask that all school library books be returned at this time. Please bring any library books your child has at home with you when you come to pick up their belongings.

When coming to pick up items, use the circle drive on the west side of the building to pull up outside the cafeteria doors. Please stay in your vehicle and a staff member will deliver the bagged items to you curbside. We appreciate you following these directions to help keep everyone safe.

April 30, 7 p.m.

Middle School Families - as a reminder, the middle school will do student belonging pickup by grade from 10 am - 4 pm and 5-7 pm next week using the following schedule.  Please stay in your vehicle and a staff member will deliver the bagged items to you curbside.  8th grade Monday, May 4. Students in the Gold Pod will pick up on the south side of the building and those in the Blue Pod will pick up on the north side. 7th grade Tuesday, May 5.  Students in the Plum Pod will pick up on the south side of the building and those in the Orange Pod will pick up on the north side. 6th grade Wednesday, May 6.  Students in the Gold Pod will pick up on the south side of the building and those in the Blue Pod will pick up on the north side. 5th grade Thursday, May 7. Students in the Plum Pod will pick up on the south side of the building and those in the Orange Pod will pick up the north side. Anyone unable to attend on their designated day may pick up belongings Friday, May 8, from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. on the south side of the building.

In addition to us returning student materials we ask that all school library books be returned at this time. Please bring any library books your child has at home with you when you come to pick up their belongings.

Again, please stay in your vehicle and a staff member will deliver the bagged items to you curbside. We appreciate you following these directions to help keep everyone safe.   

April 28, 7 p.m.

Dodger families - with school closed for the remainder of this school year, we are sharing with you our plan for returning personal belongings and supplies to students. Further details for each building will be forthcoming but we wanted you to have the dates and times so you can plan accordingly. When you go to pick up student belongings please stay in your vehicle and a staff member will deliver the bagged items to you curbside. ​
All elementary schools as well as Riverside will hold pick up next Monday, May 4, from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. 
The middle school will do pick up by grade from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. and 5 - 7 p.m. using the following schedule: 8th grade on Monday, May 4. 7th grade on Tuesday, May 5. 6th grade on Wednesday, May 6. 5th grade on Thursday, May 7. Students unable to pick up their things on the designated day may do so Friday, May 8, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. 
Senior High will do pick up from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, May 4, and again from 10 - 4 as well as 5-7 on Tuesday, May 5. ​ 
Again, specifics regarding logistics will be shared later this week by building. Please watch/listen for these messages to come.

April 23, 7 p.m.

FDSH Families - With school closed through the end of the school year and voluntary continuous learning activities not required or graded, we want to give you an update on how grades and credits for the second semester will be awarded for our high school students.

No letter grades will be given for the second semester.  Students who were passing a class as of our last day in school, which was March 13, will be given a Pass for the class and will receive the credit toward graduation.  Students who were failing a class at the time of the closure will be provided the opportunity to complete credit recovery for the course. At the point the student shows proficiency for the class a Pass will be awarded and credit toward graduation given.  If a student who is failing a class does not complete credit recovery work to the point of proficiency by May 28, the student will be withdrawn from the class, will not receive credit and will need to retake the course.  Teachers will be reaching out directly to students who may want to consider credit recovery.

To ensure seniors' opportunity to graduate with the Class of 2020 isn’t hindered by the COVID-19 virus closure, any senior who has earned 38 credits, will graduate this year. Students who have not reached this minimum number of credits will need to complete additional coursework before being able to graduate.  The 38 credit threshold provides the "grace" for students who would not otherwise have that opportunity during this forced school closure while maintaining the integrity of the diploma.  Graduation requirements for freshmen through juniors will not change. 

As we announced on April 17, face to face graduation will not take place on May 31 as originally scheduled.  We are working out plans for what graduation will look like and when it will be held.  Details will be shared with senior families as soon as they are finalized.

April 21, 7 p.m.

Preschool and Elementary Families - with school now closed through the end of the school year, we will continue to provide continuous learning opportunities to our students through May 29. The next set of guidebooks will be mailed later this week and should arrive to you by Monday, April 27. The guidebooks will again contain literacy and math activities by grade level for a two week period. In addition to the guidebooks, teachers will continue to engage with students a couple of times a week. We hope these learning resources are helpful to you as you continue to work with your child on their math and literacy skills.

April 17, 12:30 p.m.

Dodger Families and Staff - Today Governor Reynolds extended the closure of all Iowa schools for the remainder of the school year. While this news was anticipated, it does not make it any easier to end the school year this way.

What does this mean for us?

  • Students and staff will continue remote learning through voluntary continuous learning opportunities through the end of the school year.
  • The District will end student instruction for the 19-20 school year on May 29 as originally planned.
  • Information will be forthcoming regarding what this means for high school grades and credits.
  • Information will be sent to students and staff on how and when personal items may be picked up at schools and when items can be returned.

We know this raises questions about graduation. We know this is not how the members of the Class of 2020 envisioned their senior year ending. No one understands and empathizes with your disappointment more than your teachers and staff. We have watched you take your first steps into our classrooms, grow to find your purpose, and work hard to pursue your dreams. We are proud of each and every one of you. We do not see a path to having a face to face graduation on May 31. We are working on plans for holding a graduation ceremony in some format at a date yet to be determined. Our hope is to be able to have some type of face to face graduation before the end of the summer.

We are sad our school year is ending this way. We do believe, however, this is the right decision given the information we have received from health experts and state officials as the health and safety of our students, staff and community continues to be a top priority for us. We believe finishing the school year through remote learning is one of the most effective ways in which we can do our part to help keep everyone safe and healthy.

April 12, 4:00 p.m.

Middle School Families - we are providing you more details regarding what you can expect through the continuous learning opportunities that will be provided to students beginning tomorrow. Each Monday by 8 a.m. new activities for the week will be shared by teachers in their Google classrooms. Students who do not have internet access at home will receive these activities in the mail no later than Tuesdays. The mailed versions will include 2 weeks worth of activities. The activities should take your child 15-30 minutes per class per week to complete. In addition, teachers will be available virtually to students for 1 hour each weekday. Teachers will be sharing these times in their Google classrooms. Students who do not have internet access at home can expect a weekly phone call from one of their teachers to check in with them. Virtual community circles will be held by Magic Period each Wednesday from 12-12:30. Information on how to join will be in Google classroom. Finally, with everything that is going on, we will start giving student passwords to parents as they email support@fdschools.org for help with this information. If your student can't log in to their google account at home please remember to add @fdschools.org to the end of their name using the first initial of their first name with their last name followed by their graduation year. For example an 8th grader named Ann Jones would be ajones24@fdschools.org We hope this information is helpful as you assist your students with these continuous learning opportunities. We will get through this together because Together We Rise!

April 11, 4 p.m.

Senior High Families - we are providing you more details regarding what you can expect through the continuous learning opportunities that will be provided to students beginning Monday. Each Monday new activities for the week will be shared by teachers in their Google classrooms. Students who do not have internet access at home will receive these activities in the mail that week. The mailed versions will include 2 weeks worth of activities. The activities should take your child 1 to 1.5 hours per class per week to complete. Feedback will be given to students who submit the work (no grades will be assigned). Students working on E2020 courses will be allowed to continue their work and will be allowed to take tests at home for voluntary learning. In addition, teachers will be available virtually to students for 1 hour each week day. Teachers will be sharing these times in their Google classrooms. Homeroom teachers will be reaching out and connecting with weekly as well to see how things are going. We hope this information is helpful as you assist your students with these continuous learning opportunities. We will get through this together because Together We Rise!

April 11, 10 a.m.

Preschool and Elementary Families - we are providing you more details regarding what you can expect through the continuous learning opportunities that will be provided beginning Monday.  Monday you should receive in the mail a continuous learning guide with reading and math activities our teachers prepared for each grade level. There are two weeks worth of activities included. We will send additional learning guides if school remains closed beyond April 30. Teachers may continue to offer learning opportunities online as well. Additionally, teachers will be engaging with your children two times per week.  A combination of phone calls, virtual meetings using the computer, email, and postcards may be used. This will provide students and families an opportunity for intentional time with the teacher to ask questions, talk and interact around what you feel is important. Finally, use of the continuous learning guides is voluntary. No work is required or graded and any learning activity we provide is optional on your part. It is up to you how your family chooses to participate. We hope this information is helpful as you assist your students with these continuous learning opportunities. We will get through this together because Together We Rise!  

April 7, 2:30 PM

Reminder: We will not be serving grab & go lunches this Friday, April 10. Lunch will be served tomorrow & will resume on Monday.​

April 6, 7:00 PM

Senior High Families - beginning April 13, the District will be providing continuous learning opportunities for our students. It will be beneficial for students to have their Chromebooks. Students who left their Chromebooks or chargers at school may pick the items up between 8 a.m. and noon this Thursday, April 9.  Please use the drive up lane to the main entrance on the west side of the building. Stay in your vehicle and a staff member will come out to assist you.  No one will be allowed to enter the building.  We appreciate your help in practicing social distancing to keep everyone safe.

April 5, 7:00 PM

7th and 8th Grade Families - beginning April 13, the District will be providing continuous learning opportunities for our students. It will be beneficial for your student to have his or her Chromebook. Parents and guardians may pick up their student's Chromebook and/or charger between 8 a.m. and noon on Thursday, April 9. Please come to either the north or south main entrance and an administrator will greet you at the door and get your student's device for you. No one will be allowed to enter the building. Please practice social distancing while waiting in line by standing at least 6 feet apart.

April 5 4:00 PM

5th and 6th Grade Families - beginning April 13, the District will be providing continuous learning opportunities for our students. To assist with this, we will be checking Chromebooks out to 5th and 6th grade students who need a device to use at home. Parents and guardians of 5th grade students may pick up Chromebooks between 8 a.m. and noon on Tuesday, April 7. Parents and guardians of 6th grade students may pick up Chromebooks between 8 a.m. and noon on Wednesday, April 8. Those who are unable to come on their scheduled day may pick up devices between 8 and noon on Thursday, April 9. Please come to either the north or south main entrance and an administrator will greet you at the door and get your student's device for you. No one will be allowed to enter the building. Please practice social distancing while waiting in line by standing at least 6 feet apart.  

April 3, 5:00 PM

Families of FDSH Juniors and Seniors - with the school closure extended through April 30, we wanted to communicate that Prom will not take place on May 2. If we return to school on May 1, we will work to identify a new date for Prom. If the Governor extends the school closure beyond April 30, Prom will not be held. With the Governor's extension of the school closure announced yesterday we wanted to quickly communicate our decisions and plan for Prom with you as we know many of you have begun planning for it. We are hopeful Prom will be able to be held but as always, the safety of our students, staff and community is our priority.

April 2, 5:30 PM

Dodger Families – We miss you! However, the health and safety of our students, staff and community continues to be a priority for us. Because of this, we will be following the Governor’s order to extend the school closure through April 30. In order to not have to make up the missed instructional time between April 13 - 30, we will be offering voluntary enrichment opportunities for our students. We are reviewing our options for what this will look like and teachers will be in touch next week with details. We encourage you to make long-range plans for your family in the event that the school closure is extended beyond April 30. Lunch will continue to be distributed to all children 18 and under from 11:30 – 12:30 Monday through Friday from buses parked at Butler, Cooper, Duncombe and Riverside. As of March 30, the child does not need to be present to receive a lunch. For planning purposes lunch will not be served Friday, April 10, as this was a scheduled no school day. Families needing to contact the district during the closure should email directly the staff person they are wanting to reach or can email ahynes@fdschools.org and the message will be forwarded to the appropriate staff person. We know this extension creates more questions. We continue to work on answers and will provide updates and information as it becomes available. We encourage you to practice social distancing, limit your interactions and wash your hands. Stay safe and healthy Dodgers.

March 30, 3:30 p.m.

Due to the challenges involved in keeping playground equipment sanitized, all FDCSD school playgrounds are closed to the public until further notice. We are following guidance from the CDC and the Department of Public Health. Please take the recommended precautions to keep yourselves safe Dodgers!

March 26, 5:30 p.m.

The FDMS family engagement and conference events scheduled for March 31 and April 2 have been canceled. If you have questions about your child's progress, please contact your child's teachers once classes resume. We appreciate your understanding and flexibility.

March 26, 4:30 p.m.

This message is for Senior High students enrolled in Iowa Central early bird courses. Iowa Central, following guidance from the Department of Education, announced they are resuming instruction for early bird, concurrent enrollment classes. These are the Iowa Central courses that were being taught onsite at Senior High. These courses will continue their work electronically beginning next Monday, March 30. Please check your email today for communication from your Iowa Central course instructor. If you have not received communication or if you have concerns about internet access, please contact your instructor immediately.

March 25, 7 p.m.

4th Grade Families - the 4th grade pancake breakfast scheduled for Saturday, April 4, at the middle school has been postponed indefinitely. We will communicate more if/when this event is rescheduled. We appreciate your understanding and flexibility.  

March 25, 2 p.m.

Middle and High School Families - due to the extended school closure, mid-term grades will not be sent out at this time.  Thanks!

​March 24, 4 p.m.

Dodger families - we want to make you aware of some resources for food should your family need assistance during the school closure. 

Backpack Buddies will be available to pick up at the AFES gym, 712 3rd St. NW, on Fridays from 4-6 p.m. starting March 27. Families must call 955.2969 ahead of time to provide their family name and the number of children in the home. This will help volunteers prepare the bags. In order to comply with social distancing guidelines, only parents/guardians will be allowed into the gym to pick up the bags. 

Also, food and personal hygiene items from our school family resource rooms and pantries have been taken to the Lord's Cupboard, located at First United Methodist Church at the corner of 1st Avenue North and 10th Street. Please check their website or call 576.7586 for hours and information. 

March 23, 7 p.m.

Dodger Families, Students, and Staff - Greetings! This is Jesse Ulrich, Superintendent of Schools for Fort Dodge Community School District. I know it may be unusual to hear my voice in this message, but we are living in an unusual time. As our teachers begin to communicate and share resources for families during this time of closure, I wanted to take a moment to communicate with our Dodger families directly.

First, we are not expecting you to home school your child during this closure. While the social media memes bring great humor, the purpose of the activities and resources from the school is to provide you options and activities to maintain some basic skills that your child has already learned. But none of this is required. This is not a competition and your parenting will not be judged on how much your child accomplished during the closure. Even simply having your child read for 20 minutes a day can make a difference. The most important thing you can do as a family during this closure is to connect and make sure the mental health of your children and yourselves are taken care of. We will leave the academic progress to our professionals when everyone returns.

Speaking of which. Please follow the guidelines from the Iowa Department of Public Health in regards to social distancing. This closure is not the time to have play dates and encourage socialization of your child's peers. The longer we do not heed the warnings and follow the guidance, the longer our closure will be.

Finally, thank you for allowing us to serve your child. This closure isn't easy on anyone, but please know we are here to help serve the academic needs of your child while they can not come to school. If you do not have internet access for online resources and activities, please contact your student's teacher and they can help find alternatives for you if you desire.

Thank you for being a part of the Dodger family. Together we will get through this, because Together We Rise!

March 21, 11 a.m.

Dodger families - this is a reminder that the District will be providing free grab and go lunches for children 18 and under beginning Monday. Lunches will be distributed weekdays from 11:30 - 12:20 at Butler, Cooper, Duncombe and Riverside from a school bus parked at the building entrances. People should remain in their vehicles and pull up next to the bus for window delivery. Children can walk up to the distribution site to receive a meal but will not be allowed to eat it onsite. Children 18 and under can pick up lunch at any location regardless of what school they attend. The child must be present to receive a lunch. This free service will continue through the duration of the closure.  

March 20, 12 p.m.

Dear Class of 2020, 

We are living in an unprecedented time.  As the COVID-19 pandemic begins to change how our day-to-day lives are lived, we wanted to touch base with you on some things on our hearts that we wanted you to hear directly from us.  As we continue to follow the guidance from the Iowa Department of Public Health and Governor's Office, we wanted to make sure you understood how much we deeply care about you and are busy planning how to best serve you when you return.

This is not what you signed up for.  This isn't the experience we wanted you to have in your final year at Senior High. No one wanted a spring semester without sports or fine arts, without daily socializing, service projects, or missing the "final" events that you have been looking forward to. It is normal and acceptable to feel strong emotions and frustrations.  We completely understand, and quite frankly, share the same emotions you do.

What you need to know is that we are here for you.  This pandemic is not your fault, and we will do everything in our power to make sure when you come back we do our part to make your final weeks meaningful.  At this point, do not worry about classes, grades or credits for this semester.  We do not have answers about how long we will be out of school and what future activities and events will be cancelled.  As guidance from the Department of Education continues to come out, we will update you when appropriate.

What you need to know now is that we care about you and are here to support you. When you come back, we will have plans in place for you to finish your senior year strong, and we will be here to help you celebrate your successes as you prepare to take the next steps in your life journey.

Educationally, 

Dr. Jesse Ulrich, Superintendent

Mrs. Staci Laird, Senior High Principal

March 19, 2 p.m.

The FDCSD elementary and middle school art show scheduled for March 24 - April 5 at Crossroads Mall has been postponed. We are currently unsure if or when it will be rescheduled.

March 18, 11 a.m.

Fort Dodge Families - Kindergarten and TK Roundup were scheduled to take place in our FDCSD schools next week, March 23-27.  Due to our extended school closure in response to COVID-19, all Roundups have been postponed indefinitely. In order for us to prepare to provide your child the best educational experience possible next year, please complete the kindergarten or TK pre-registration form as soon as possible.  Pre-registration can be completed by using the links located at the top of our website, fdschools.org. We appreciate your help and flexibility with this. If you have any questions please call 515.574.5679.   

March 17, 2:00 p.m.

Dodger Families – the health and safety of our students, staff and community is important to us. Because of this, we will be following the Governor’s recommendation to close school for 4 weeks. Starting immediately, all FDCSD schools will be closed through April 12. Information regarding our end of the year schedule will be provided as soon as possible. We will be providing a free grab and go lunch option for children 18 and under. Lunches will be distributed from 11:30 – 12:30 Monday through Friday beginning Monday, March 23, from the front entrances at Butler, Cooper, Duncombe and Riverside. Children 18 and under can pick up lunch at any building, regardless of what school they attend. The child must be present to receive a lunch – one lunch per child per day. This service will continue through the duration of the closure. Families needing to contact the district during the next 4 weeks should call 576.1161. Central office staff will be working during the closure, but the building will be closed to walk in traffic. Further information will be provided as it becomes available. We encourage you to practice social distancing, limit your interactions to groups of 10 or less and wash your hands. Stay safe and healthy Dodgers.

March 16; 1:30 p.m. - 

Dodger families - if you have a child who has medication at school that you need for home, please listen closely to this message.  You will need to call 576.1161 by 4:30 p.m. today so we can add you to the list of people needing to pick up medication.  School personnel will distribute medication from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow, Tuesday, March 17.  Please ensure you take home enough medication to get through an extended school closure should that happen.  This will be your only opportunity to pick up your child's medication.  You will need to meet the school staff member at the front entrance of your child's school (for the middle school this is the south side and for the high school this is the west side).   When calling you will need to provide your name, the student's name, the student's school name, the medication name and your phone number.  

March 15; 8:30 p.m. -

Dodger families - in light of the Governor's recommendation tonight to close schools for 4 weeks, there will not be school tomorrow, March 16, or Tuesday, March 17. The remainder of the week is spring break. We are waiting for further guidance from the Governor's office and will provide you with an update in the near future. All 260 day employees still need to report to work. Again, no school tomorrow or Tuesday.

March 12 -

Dodger Families - Given the recent health concerns, cancellations of major events, and questions regarding potential school closings, we wanted to provide you an update around the Coronavirus and school practices. This is additional information to what the District has already provided to parents in regards to best practices involving your child's health last week.

Fort Dodge Community School District will remain open unless the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), the Iowa Department of Education (IDOE), or the Governor's Office instructs us to close. If the circumstances of this pandemic change, we will follow the guidance from these organizations on our next steps. 

Today the IDPH provided the following guidance to schools:

  • Students returning from travel to areas with community spread of COVID-19 must self-isolate for 14 days prior to returning to school. *The District will not be counting these mandated quarantined days as a part of the absenteeism policy or hold them against the student.
  • If a child or staff member has been identified with COVID-19, local health officials will determine when students and staff should return to schools and what additional steps are needed for the school community.
  • Upon confirmation of community spread by local public health officials and IDPH, school dismissals or cancellations in impacted communities may be implemented.
  • If a child is sick, the parents need to take the child home as soon as possible and keep them home until their symptoms have subsided.

For information on communicating this pandemic with your child, please visit: https://go.aws/2QaPjvs.

As more information becomes available, Fort Dodge Community School District will continue to provide updates for our families to keep our students safe.

Educationally, 

Dr. Jesse Ulrich, Superintendent

March 6; 4:00 p.m. - 

Dodger Families - As you know, there has been increasing attention and media coverage regarding the coronavirus (specifically the COVID-19 strain of the virus). This new strain of coronavirus is believed to spread mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person sneezes or coughs.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, there are currently no confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Iowa and Iowa is currently considered a low-risk state.

As a district, we are operating in a state of preparedness and are in regular communication with the Iowa Department of Public Health, as well as Webster County health officials to be sure we are informed on the latest developments.

Moving forward we will continue to partner with and follow the guidance of these agencies. The most up-to-date state information about the coronavirus can be found on the Iowa Department of Public Health Coronavirus Webpage and on the Centers for Disease Control Coronavirus Webpage.

It is also important to note the following:

  • The district uses hospital-grade disinfectants to disinfect commonly touched surfaces in all district buildings.
  • As is always the case, the best preventative measures are those normally associated with minimizing the spread of common illnesses, including:
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. (Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.)
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Stay home when you are sick.
    • Cover your mouth with your upper arm or tissue when coughing or sneezing.

It is important for staff as well as students to stay home if they are ill, including any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • NOTE: Do not return to school or work until being free of any of these symptoms without the use of medication for 24 hours.

We will also be sending a communication to families about this topic. 

Again, at this time, we are working as a district to be proactive and preventative. We will provide additional information as it becomes available and appreciate your ongoing assistance in promoting good preventative measures in our schools.

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