The Belmond-Klemme Community School District is faced with a difficult decision of which there is no choice. Last week, the school identified five teachers at the secondary level who tested positive for COVID-19.
Since last Wednesday, October 28, Belmond-Klemme has identified a total of five additional secondary students and five additional staff members this week as testing positive for COVID-19. Superintendent Dan Frazier said that the district continues to take every step possible to ensure the health and safety of the students and staff.
The student outbreak largely did not result from activities in the school. The districts careful and compartmentalized instructional delivery system in the secondary school continues to work to protect the students while in school. Most of the cases resulted from large spreader events held outside of the school buildings.
The district is working with the Iowa Department of Public Health and Wright County Public Health. The five infected students are all currently at home recovering. However, The Iowa Department of Public Education is forcing the district to continue in-class education. In defense of his students and teachers, Frazier spoke with the Education Department and expressed his feelings to them. He pointed out the contradiction in requirements between medical professionals in the Wright County Health Department and the administrators in the State Education Department.
It should be noted that the state has made it clear that any days spent in at home online education beyond what is allowed by the Iowa Department of Education will not be counted as actual school days.
Governor Kim Reynolds has asked all Iowans to continue all pandemic precautions, so businesses can stay open and children can remain safe in school.