November 7, 2020
To: All Lake Mills Families and Students
From: Chad Kohagen, Superintendent
Re: Recent County Positivity Rates
In recent days, the district has received some questions from families and staff regarding the increases in the Winnebago County COVID-19 positivity rates and what it means for our schools. Specifically, they want to know if the district plans to shift its learning model in the near future.
This decision largely rests with the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH). According to guidance from the state, IDPH will consider a school closure for a district if the county positivity rate is 15-20% over a 14-day period AND the district’s absentee rate is at 10% or more among students learning in person.
To date, none of our schools has experienced a student absentee rate of 10% or more. However, we have serious concerns about the local case numbers and the impact on our students and staff. One issue that other schools have faced is a staff shortage due to rising cases. If the current trend continues, we want everyone to be prepared that a shift in our learning model is a real possibility. If that were to occur, the district would work with IDPH and our county health officials on moving forward with a possible shift to full remote learning.
The health, safety, and well-being of the entire Lake Mills community remains our top priority. We are following sound protocols aligned with expert health guidance to ensure we are doing everything we can to protect the health of our students, staff, and families. We will continue to practice mask wearing, social distancing, frequent hand-washing, and other strategies we know help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. As always, thank you for your support during this challenging time in our school district community.