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.
The Webster County Public Health Department has the following website dedicated to COVID-19 updates: https://www.webstercountyia.org/covid19 and is providing a hotline as well.
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.
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.
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:
- 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.