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Coronavirus Update (March 11, 2020)
March 11, 2020

Coronavirus Update (March 11, 2020)


Coronavirus Update (March 11, 2020)

With many universities in the state canceling in-person classes and moving toward online courses for two-weeks following spring break, the Story County school districts want to assure our families and communities, that as a group, we will continue normal operations for the foreseeable future. 

All districts are receiving regular updates and working closely with Story County Public Health and the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and will follow their guidelines and recommendations. As this is an evolving issue, their recommendations may change over time. In the event that Story County Public Health or the Iowa Department of Public Health determines that there is a need for closure, or other action, we will communicate additional information at that time.

As districts, we are working to be proactive and preventative, while operating in a state of preparedness. In a prior communication, we indicated that we are following a number of recommendations from the Center for Disease Control that include increased disinfection processes of the school and procedures when students show signs of illness. 

We are increasing our efforts of disinfection at all of our buildings. This includes routinely cleaning desks, door handles and wiping down tables after school. As districts, we are also promoting proper handwashing and will be providing opportunities for handwashing for students and staff. We have provided answers to additional questions below. 

Iowa Department of Public Health recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of all respiratory viruses, 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.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

The Center for Disease Control does not currently recommend face masks for the general public.

The most up-to-date 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

Jenny Risner, Superintendent of Ames Community School District

Ottie Maxey, Superintendent of Ballard Community School District

Dr. Corey Lunn, Superintendent of Collins-Maxwell Community School District 

Jim Walker, Superintendent of Colo-NESCO Community School District

Lindsey Beecher, Superintendent of Gilbert Community School District 

Dr. Steve Gray, Superintendent of Nevada Community School District

Matt Patton, Superintendent of Roland-Story Community School District 


Q: What is the determining threshold of when ACSD closes the schools? 

Like all districts across the state and nation, we are continually monitoring the outbreak. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) encourages childcare and school administrators to work in close collaboration and coordination with local health officials to make dismissal and large event cancellation decisions. Schools are not expected to make decisions about dismissal or canceling events on their own. 


The district is working closely with the local public health (Story County) and the state public health (IDPH). The school district will follow their guidelines and recommendations. 


We may find the need to close a building for a short time in order to properly clean and sanitize it. 


Q: If a student’s parent/s/guardian’s/immediate family members are diagnosed with COVID-19, does the District want that student to continue attending school, or stay home due to the risk of exposure? 

The District would ask the student to stay home and continue being monitored for 14 days. The District attendance policy will be waived for these students who miss class. 


Q: A student in your building has been in close contact with a diagnosed COVID-19 case, as confirmed by the Iowa Department of Public Health.

The District would ask the student to stay home and continue being monitored for 14 days. The District attendance policy will be waived for these students who miss class. 


Q: Is the District planning for an online learning contingency?

Currently, these requests will be handled on an individual basis to best meet the needs of the student and family.