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INDEPENDENCE – On Friday, Independence Community School District (ICSD) Superintendent Russell Reiter sent out a letter to parents, students, and the community announcing the transition to emergency closure continuous learning from Monday, November 30, through Thursday, December 3.

In the letter, Reiter stated, “Between the Buchanan County Public Health positivity rates, the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases across the region, and the number of students quarantined within our district, we feel it is in the best interest of the Independence CSD at this time. Additionally, all athletic and extracurricular activities will be cancelled during this time beginning Wednesday, November 25, through Sunday, December 6.

“Each building principal will be sending out additional guidance via an email regarding specific information for your student’s remote learning. Please be patient during this time as we are working hard to prepare and answer questions as we receive them. Attendance and participation will be required for every student. If for some reason your child is unable to participate, please call the office as normal. It is important for families to continue to notify the school of any quarantines or positive cases so we can keep updated data.

“Breakfast and lunches will be available for the four days, and additional information will be sent out on Monday of next week to sign up for these daily meals. To our families and community, we understand the extra burden this puts on you; however, given the current conditions of our school, city, and local positivity rate of COVID-19, we are forced to make these very difficult decisions to keep our students, staff, and community safe.”

According to the school district’s COVID-19 dashboard on Friday morning, November 20, at 9:15 a.m.:

- Buchanan County 14-day rolling positivity rate (iowa.gov) – 23 percent, trending down

- Student(s) currently testing positive, grades PK-2 – 1-5, trending up

- Student(s) currently testing positive, grades 3-6 – 1-5, no change in trend

- Student(s) currently testing positive, grades 7-12 – 1-5, trending down

- Staff member(s) currently testing positive, grades PK-2 – 1-5, no change in trend

- Staff member(s) currently testing positive, grades 3-6 – 1-5, no change in trend

- Staff member(s) currently testing positive, grades 7-12 – 1-5, trending up

- Students currently isolating/quarantining, grades PK-12 – 164, trending down

- Staff currently isolating/quarantining, grades PK-12 – 9, trending down

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