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Articles from March 2020

Coronavirus Update: March 31, 2020

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.

Coronavirus Update: March 30, 2020

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

Among the most common questions we receive are those inquiring about the status of high school proms and graduation. We recognize that these are incredibly meaningful, right-of-passage events for our high school seniors and their families. While nothing has been cancelled as of today, given the fluidity of the situation, it is not possible for us to know at this point what the status of these events will be. We are, however, committed to providing some in-person celebration honoring these events when it is safe to do so and will provide updates as possible.

Given the difficulty in maintaining the sanitization of playground equipment, and the volume/frequency of contact points on the equipment, all school playgrounds in the district are closed to the public until further notice. This closing comes following a similar decision by the City of Dubuque and a number of other municipalities.

Coronavirus Update: March 27, 2020

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

Beginning Monday, March 30, the district will offer three additional locations offering no-cost GRAB-AND-GO meals to those not easily served by other sites. Meals will be delivered to these locations by a district vehicle each weekday (Monday-Friday) and will be available at each site for a 20-minute period for walk ups only. In order to keep students and families safe, no drive-up requests will be served. Visit our FOOD RESOURCES webpage for a list of drive-up locations.

New locations are:

Table Mound Mobile Home Park (DOT side): WALK-UP ONLY
LOCATION: 700 Noonan Street
HOURS: 11-11:20 a.m.
MEALS: Lunch and Breakfast (grab breakfast for the next day when you pick up lunch!)

Table Mound Mobile Home Park (Casey’s side): WALK-UP ONLY
LOCATION: 1221 Maquoketa Drive
HOURS: 11:40 a.m.-Noon
MEALS: Lunch and Breakfast (grab breakfast for the next day when you pick up lunch!)

Super 20 Mobile Home Park: WALK-UP ONLY
LOCATION: 14501 North Cascade Road
HOURS: 12:30-12:50 p.m.
MEALS: Lunch and Breakfast (grab breakfast for the next day when you pick up lunch!)

The district has a number of high school students enrolled in post-secondary courses at the University of Dubuque this semester. All of UD’s courses are online for the rest of the semester, which includes high school students enrolled in college courses. By now, UD instructors should have reached out to their students along with instructions on how to access/complete the remainder of the semester. Please contact your UD instructor if you have specific questions about your course.

Coronavirus Update: March 26

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

CollegeBoard, which administers AP Exams, is offering free, live online AP review courses, delivered by AP teachers from across the country. These courses are optional, mobile friendly and will be available on demand. Courses will focus on reviewing the skills and concepts from the first 75% of the course. There will also be some supplementary lessons including topics from the final 25% of the course.


During this time, and throughout the year, there are many organizations focused on supporting our children and community. A list of organizations supporting children can be found in the Dubuque County Family Resource Guide, compiled by Dubuque County Early Childhood. These uncertain times can also be very emotionally challenging. The Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available for support 24/7 at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

VIEW COMMUNITY RESOURCES on our Coronavirus Webpage for a copy of the Family Resource Guide and other information and support resources.

Coronavirus Update: March 25

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

The district’s Educational Support Team has created Suggested Learning Resources + Activities and a Social Emotional Learning Guide for parents to support learning with their student. There are guides available for elementary, middle and high school students. Additional resources will be provided weekly. Each guide includes suggested activities, accommodations to assist learners of all levels, and links to a variety of helpful online tools. Printed copies of these packets will be available at meal delivery sites on Friday.

VIEW EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES on our Coronavirus Webpage to access these materials.

We miss and care about our students and families! Teachers across the district are working to contact each of our families. These calls will mostly be made from non-district numbers, so if you receive a call from an unknown or a blocked number, please consider answering it so we can connect with you. In addition to phone calls, many teachers will also be connecting via Seesaw, Canvas and email.

For students taking Postsecondary Coursework, the district received guidance from the state that “even though the student is receiving high school credit, the course is ultimately a postsecondary course and the postsecondary institution has decision-making authority regarding operation of the course. The student should continue to participate in the course, unless specific exemptions are established by the postsecondary institution. The student should access the course according to alternative arrangements established by the postsecondary institution.”

As part of its response to COVID-19, Mediacom has informed the district of its low-cost internet program called Connect2Compete. The company has now increased the program’s speed to 25 Mbps down speed and 3 Mbps up speed. Qualifying families who subscribe before May 15, 2020, will receive 60 days of complimentary Mediacom Connect2Compete service.

Your household may qualify if:

    • Mediacom offers internet service in your community or area
    • You have at least one student in grades K-12 living at home
    • At least one child qualifies for free or reduced-price meals through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
    • You are not a current Mediacom internet customer and have NOT subscribed to Mediacom internet service in the past 90 days
    • You do not have an outstanding Mediacom bill or unreturned equipment

Mediacom is also providing complementary access to all Mediacom Xtream Wi-Fi Hotspots in various locations throughout Dubuque for 60 days.

Coronavirus Update: March 24

First up in today’s update, an important informational note: We continue to receive many messages and inquiries regarding online learning moving forward. This is an issue that school districts across the state are currently wrestling with and seeking guidance on. This afternoon, we learned from the Iowa Department of Education that a state task force is being formed on this issue that will meet later this week. We will look forward to receiving additional guidance and clarity from this task force as we continue to move forward with providing resources to our families and students.

Today, as we provide this update, we also take a moment to simply pause, breathe and focus.

As we have long said, it is truly the people who make the Dubuque Community School District amazing – and that has never been truer than in these times of uncertainty.

Our world today is different than it was a week ago, and we want to assure you that we are working tirelessly to provide resources, support and comfort as we face this challenge together.

As you read this message,

  • administrators and teachers from across the district are preparing educational resources for students and are working to roll those out to families in the next few days
  • district staff and many community partners are preparing meals to serve students throughout our community, all at no-cost
  • custodians are busy deep-cleaning our school buildings
  • central office staff are ensuring that critical functions such as payroll, accounts payable, technology infrastructure and more continue to operate
  • counselors are preparing resources to support the emotional well-being of our families
  • teachers have or will be reaching out families to check-in
  • parents are adjusting schedules and helping students continue learning at home
  • our community is rallying around those who are most vulnerable

Many questions remain – some we can answer now, and others that we are working to answer. Some answers may change over time. We are with you in navigating this new, unknown territory.

While we won’t always have an immediate answer to every question we receive, we can tell you with unwavering certainty that our entire district is wholly focused on the education, safety, health and wellbeing of the students and families we serve.

We take great pride and responsibility in being a critical community link and we are grateful for your support and partnership as we move forward.

The Dubuque Community School District is not, and will never be, simply a collection of buildings. Our schools are the collective of our students, families, staff and community members who provide critical services for our students.

We will work through COVID-19 together, we will continue to provide you with updates from the district for as long as necessary, and we will look with hope to the day we can learn and serve together in person.

Look for our regular updates and additional information to resume tomorrow.