Return-to-Learn Planning & Implementation

January 7, 2022

The CDC has recently updated their recommendations for periods of isolation following a diagnosis of COVID-19. These new recommendations from cdc.gov state the following:

  • You can end isolation after 5 full days if you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and your other symptoms have improved (Loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and need not delay the end of isolation).

  • You should continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others at home and in public for 5 additional days (day 6 through day 10) after the end of your 5-day isolation period. If you are unable to wear a mask when around others, you should continue to isolate for a full 10 days. Avoid people who are immunocompromised or at high risk for severe disease, and nursing homes and other high-risk settings, until after at least 10 days.

  • If you continue to have fever or your other symptoms have not improved after 5 days of isolation, you should wait to end your isolation until you are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and your other symptoms have improved. Continue to wear a well-fitting mask. Contact your healthcare provider if you have questions.

  • Do not go to places where you are unable to wear a mask, such as restaurants and some gyms, and avoid eating around others at home and at work until a full 10 days after your first day of symptoms.

The District continues to recommend a 10-day isolation period due to the fact that we do not have a mask mandate in place and we do have students and staff members in our school community who are immunocompromised. However, we cannot mandate a 10-day isolation period.

Starting Monday, January 10, 2022, all students and staff who have recently tested positive for COVID-19 will be permitted to return to school after 5 full days of isolation if they are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and their other symptoms have improved. Students and staff must continue to wear a mask in all District buildings for 5 additional days (day 6 through day 10) after the end of their 5-day isolation period. If you are unable or unwilling to wear a mask, you should continue to isolate at home for the full 10 days. To calculate your 5-day isolation period, day 0 is your first day of symptoms or the day of your positive test if you are asymptomatic. Day 1 is the first full day after your symptoms developed or after your test was taken. You can leave isolation after 5 full days.

In addition to this masking requirement for days 6-10, students and staff members will be required to eat lunch in an alternate setting that allows for at least 6 feet of space between individuals. The alternate location for students will be determined by each building principal.

In our latest District newsletter, we shared that elementary buildings would have all students moving back into the cafeteria for lunch and would be welcoming volunteers back into the buildings by January 18th. These changes are now on hold, given the current state of COVID spread in our community. We will continue to monitor the situation and will communicate prior to any future changes. We hope to welcome volunteers back into our buildings in the near future.

Thank you for your cooperation and collaboration as we work together to keep our students safe, healthy and educated.

September 2021

Below is information on covid exposure notifications and the district dashboard.

As a District we will continue to do contact tracing when there is a positive covid case in our buildings. When we are notified of a positive case administrators will work to determine which students were within six feet for 15 continuous minutes of the person who tested positive for covid.

The Iowa Department of Public Health in conjunction with the Iowa Department of Human Services provided updated isolation and quarantine guidelines:

  • Exposed students and staff are no longer required to stay home, regardless of mask usage when not exhibiting symptoms.

  • Covid positive students will still be excluded from school for the duration of their isolation period (10 days from symptom onset or 10 days from test collection if asymptomatic).

If your student develops symptoms: with one high risk symptom: cough, shortness of breath or loss of taste or smell OR two low risk symptoms: fever, sore throat, fatigue, body aches, headache, runny nose, nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting; to return to school you must have:

-negative covid test (there is no longer a timeframe that you need to wait before testing)

-an alternative diagnosis OR

-wait ten days before returning

Please have your student stay home if they are feeling ill and work with your school nurse on next steps.

Testing is generally available through your health care provider as well as through most retail pharmacies. Hy-Vee and Walgreens both offer testing and have PCR and rapid tests. At home test kits can be requested through testiowa.com or you can pick up a test kit at certain clinics in the community, here is a current map of locations testiowa.com.

The District will now be publishing a dashboard with covid data for families, staff and community members as a summary of lab-positive (active) COVID-19 cases and quarantines due to exposure to a positive COVID-19 case. Due to confidentiality, any level with fewer than six cases will not be identified to protect the identity of individual students and staff. The data will be updated every Tuesday and Friday.

As the health and safety for all students and staff remains a priority, we will continue to monitor the local health situation and communicate any updates or modifications as necessary.


We are excited for the 2021-2022 school year and look forward to a great year. As COVID-19 and variant cases continue, we wanted to share with you the mitigation strategies and plans for the 2021-2022 school year.

Face Masks

  • We encourage mask wearing by all in accordance with CDC public health guidance. However, we cannot mandate employees, students, or members of the public to wear a facial covering for any purpose while in a school building.

  • As of today, a federal executive order remains in place that requires masks on public transportation and, accordingly, the district asks students to comply with this federal requirement while on school busses until further guidance is received.

Additional Mitigation Strategies

  • Frequent hand washing is encouraged and multiple hand washing/sanitizing stations are available throughout all buildings.

  • Cough/sneeze etiquette will be reviewed and reminders shared as needed.

  • Daily sanitizing of all areas with UV lights and cleaning high touch areas multiple times throughout the day.

  • We will limit interactions/contact when possible, rotation of lunch rooms to limit interaction/contact at the elementary level.

  • Social distancing and spacing as much as possible.

  • Plexiglass separations in some locations.

  • Continued use of MERV filters for removal of virus particles.

  • At the start of the school year we will limit parents and volunteers into building.

We will also continue to use our student screening tool (below). The tool requires a staff or student to stay home (or go home after seeing the nurse) with one high risk symptom: cough, shortness of breath or loss of taste or smell OR two low risk symptoms: sore throat, fatigue, body aches, headache, runny nose, nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting. A student or staff must have an alternative diagnosis, wait ten days, or have a negative test after 5 days to return to school/work after symptoms. Please have your student stay home when feeling ill and work with your school nurse on next steps.

The Iowa Department of Public Health in conjunction with the Iowa Department of Human Services announced updated isolation and quarantine guidelines for students including:

  • Exposed students should no longer be required to stay home, regardless of mask usage when not exhibiting symptoms.

  • Parents/guardians of exposed students will be given information around exposure to COVID-19 in order to make their own informed decisions regarding risk.

  • COVID-19 positive and symptomatic students will still be excluded from school for the duration of their isolation period (10 days from symptom onset or 10 days from test collection if asymptomatic).

As the health and safety for all students and staff remains a priority, we will continue to monitor the local health situation and communicate any updates or modifications as necessary.

Employee Screening Tool.pdf
Student Screening Tool.pdf
Cedar Falls When to Send Guidelines for Elementary.pdf
Cedar Falls When to Send Guidelines for Secondary.pdf

Unprecedented times require planning, preparing, and implementing teaching and learning in new ways. In an effort to continue to achieve the vision of EVERY STUDENT. EVERY DAY, we need to create plans for the future that will accommodate our "new normal". During the past months, we have provided students with some online activities that were intended to help keep students on track. In the event that we are not able to meet face-to-face at some point in the future, we want to ensure that we are equipped and ready to provide online instruction and assessment for ALL. The Iowa Return-to-Learn plan will include three models of delivery for various scenarios.