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Return to School Plan

Past  Information

7/7 Update

Superintendent Dr. Steve Gray updated the Nevada School Board on the current status of ‘Return to School’ plans for the school start date of August 24, 2020. Dr. Gray indicated that the District is busy meeting with the District Leadership Teams, Teacher Leaders, Central Iowa Superintendents, various state agencies, and Story County agencies. Several meetings are scheduled with Story County Emergency Management and Story County Public Health during the month of July.

As indicated in our update to the community last week, the ‘Return to Learn Plan’ that was due July 1 to the Department of Education was essentially a list of assurances that the District would have plans for various areas (such as online learning, hybrid models, health and safety considerations, various equity concerns for various student populations, etc.). The details of how the District will meet those assurances are what we are busy finalizing now. The variables involved with those details continue to be very dynamic and fluid in nature. Parents will receive a survey this week to assist the District in finalizing planning details.

The District’s ‘Return to School’ plan will have three layers. The first will be for students and staff to be onsite. The second will be a hybrid option in the event that 50 percent capacity is needed. Under the hybrid option, students would be assigned to A-Day or B-Day (by household so siblings attend on the same day), with online education during days the students are not physically at school.  A third option (required by the Department of Education) is for required continuous online learning. The District is working with Story County to develop a matrix to determine when data indicates a transition is necessary from one learning model to another. That said, parents can be assured that Nevada CSD will have an online option for them if they are not comfortable sending their children to school.

Given that our starting point is for staff and students to be onsite, mitigation strategies are also a major part of planning. Face coverings (masks) are a much-debated topic for schools right now. Guidance from the Iowa Department of Education and Iowa Department of Public Health does not recommend that school districts require face masks. At this time, Ames CSD is the only Story County school district to announce that they will be requiring face masks for all individuals on school property this fall.

Nevada CSD is prepared for any mask scenario. The District has nearly 2,000 cloth masks onsite. Several thousand disposable masks (both regular and pediatric sizes) have also been ordered and are expected to arrive in July. Although Ames CSD has decided to require face masks, other Story County districts are considering a spectrum of options, which may include required face masks only for certain situations, such as transportation (buses), trips to the nurse’s office, etc. In addition, Nevada CSD is considering assigned Associates for all buses to take temperature checks and monitor seating charts. Dr. Gray indicated that seating charts will be important this fall in the event of “contact tracing”. Story County Public Health has indicated that exposure to a positive COVID case is determined by 15 consecutive minutes of 6 feet proximity. Seating charts throughout the day will assist the District in notifying families of possible exposure.

In addition to masks, the following mitigation strategies are also being prepared:

  • Face shields to be available for staff
  • Plexiglas barriers in offices
  • Procedures for limiting visitors to buildings
  • Social Distancing strategies such as:
    • Staggering passing times for hallways
    • Staggering recess times
    • Staggering lunch times and locations to limit group size
  • All staff required to complete online health & safety trainings
    • Topics to be shared and taught to our students
      • Frequent Handwashing
      • Proper cough and sneeze covering
      • Social distancing to the extent possible
      • Use of hand sanitizer
        • Available in all areas
        • May also encourage individual school supplies
      • Drinking fountains: bubblers are off; water bottle fillers are on
      • Increased sanitation efforts and supplies to disinfect schools, surfaces, and equipment:
        • Ionizers to spray rooms, halls, lockers, etc.
        • Backpacks for disinfectant spray: playground equipment, restrooms, railings, door handles, etc.
        • Large quantities of hand sanitizer for all areas.

Dr. Gray requested that the School Board add an additional School Board Meeting for July 20 at 6:30 p.m. to review a more detailed plan that can be communicated to the community more than a month before the start of school (August 24, 2020). If decisions cannot be finalized on July 20, an additional meeting may be scheduled for July 27.

Online registration is scheduled to open the week of July 27. The District understands that many parents wish to know our approach prior to registering as they will have onsite and online options to choose from. Nevada CSD continues to appreciate the patience and understanding provided by our community as we develop plans and gain a more accurate understanding of what school will look like in the fall.


6/29/20 – Offseason Activities Guidelines

Team Camps & Multi-Team Scrimmages

  • Must be approved by Athletic Director & follow Camp/Clinic/Practice/Open Gym Guidelines below 

Camps/Clinics/Open Gyms/Practices

  • ALL Offseason Activities are Optional – Must be Scheduled with AD

ALL Athletics

  • Report to AD any students with positive COVID-19 cases or symptoms immediately
  • Temperature checks by coaches before entering the facility
  • Students should not attend if they do not feel well
  • Personal equipment not shared between students – Bring your own towel/water/sanitizer/etc
  • Utilize outdoor space as much as possible 
  • No hand to hand contact or person to person touching at any kind
  • No face guarding/hands in face/bumping & running/etc
  • No spitting
  • No ‘tight’ huddles
  • Wipe down/sanitize all balls & equipment used during the open gym 
  • Practice safe social distancing when not part of drills/gameplay
  • Facemasks recommended indoors but not required 

Fine Arts (Band/Choir/Dance/Colorguard/Drama)

  • Report to AD any students with positive COVID-19 cases or symptoms immediately
  • Temperature checks by coaches
  • Students should not attend if they do not feel well
  • Personal equipment not shared between students – Bring your own towel/water/sanitizer/etc
  • Utilize outdoor space as much as possible 
  • No person to person touching at any time
  • No ‘tight’ huddles
  • Wipe down/sanitize equipment used during practice
  • Practice safe social distancing when not part of drills/gameplay
  • Facemasks recommended indoors but not required 


  • Buses/Vans: Must be sanitized before & after trips
  • Buses/Vans: One person per seat. If a student/coach is within one seat of each other a mask must be worn. If space is available, students must sit every other seat. 
  • Parents may transport their own athletes to/from events. An email to the coach/AD in advance is required.
  • Athletes may transport themselves to/from events. An email from the parent to the coach/AD in advance is required.
  • Parents/Athletes may only transport athletes residing in their own household

July 1 & 2 Strength Training

  • Wednesday, July 1st & Thursday, July 2nd — Introduction to Offseason Weightlifting Protocol 
    • 6:30 – 7:45 AM — Boys Introduction & Protocol (HS Bleachers) followed by “introductory workout”
    • 7:45 – 9:00 AM — Girls Introduction & Protocol (HS Bleachers) followed by “Introductory workout”
    • “Normal” open gyms opposite of boys & girls Strength Training 
      • Five racks left in the weight room, two racks out to indoor track 
      • Pods of four students. Sanitization after use of a station. Hand washing/sanitization after completion of the station. 
      • Help from coaches encouraging CDC Guidelines
        • Social Distancing 
        • Hand Washing/Sanitization 
        • Equipment Cleanup/Wipe Down
      • The number of students attending will dictate where students are working out. We will plan to use as much space as needed for social distance athletes
      • Students must report if they are not attending due to illness 

Monday, July 6th through Friday, July 24th 

  • Coaches Encouraged to attend as much as possible to help with Social Distancing/Sanitization 
    • 6:30 – 7:30 — Boys Lift — Monday – Thursday
      • Girls Open Gym during this time
    • 7:30 – 8:00 — Boys & Girls Speed & Agility Training Monday – Thursday (On track/football field whenever weather permits
    • 8:00 – 9:00 —  Girls Lift — Monday – Thursday
      • Boys Open Gym during this time
  • Other offseason open gym opportunities (Must be scheduled with AD by Coaches)
    • Friday 6:30 – 9:00 AS requested by programs
    • Sunday Evening work
  • MS Weightlifting Program in August following rules the same as the HS. 


5/27/20 – Summer Activities Update


  • High School Only
    • Middle School is still suspended by the State
    • Nevada will participate at the Junior Varsity (JV) and Varsity (V) levels only.

Signage to be posted at the Baseball/Softball Stadiums

  • Individuals experiencing illness should not be on the premises, including but not limited to symptoms of Covid-19. Individuals who have been in contact with a confirmed diagnosis of Covid-19 in the last 14 days should not attend.
  • Bleachers are limited to designated rows. Fans are encouraged to stand or bring lawn chairs. Social distancing should be observed between households.
    • All home JV/V games will be live-streamed (with an announcer for Varsity) to the extent possible. Spectators are encouraged to view the games remotely.
  • Spectators or parents dropping off athletes for practices must remain in their vehicle.
  • No concessions.
  • Any child age 14 or under must be accompanied by a parent and kept in close proximity.


  • Any player experiencing illness (or in contact with a positive Covid-19 diagnosis in the past 14 days) should not attend.
  • All players will have their temperature checked upon arrival. A temp of 100 or more will not be allowed to attend.
  • Players with expiring annual physicals have until June 26 to get an updated physical form on file with the District.
  • No use of dugouts during practices (games only).
  • During games, only those players in the lineup will be allowed in the dugout. Those players dressed for the contest, but not playing on the field, will be socially distanced outside the dugout.
  • Player equipment/items should be lined up against the fence at least 6 feet apart.
  • Players should use their own gloves, helmets, and bats when possible.
  • Players must use their own water bottles (no shared beverages).
  • Players are encouraged to bring their own hand sanitizer. Use between each inning is encouraged.
  • Any player requesting a cloth (PPE) mask will be provided one from the District.
  • Players and Coaches will not engage in physical contact such as, but not limited to, handshakes, high fives, fist bumps, etc.
  • Cheering, singing, yelling in close proximity to others is discouraged.
  • No sunflower seeds permitted.


  • Any coach experiencing illness (or in contact with a positive Covid-19 diagnosis in the past 14 days) should not attend.
  • All coaches will have their temperature checked upon arrival. A temp of 100 or more will not be allowed to attend.
  • Coaches will immediately notify administration of any player or coach illness.
  • Coaches will sanitize equipment before and after practices/games.
  • Coaches will ensure social distancing to the extent possible.
  • Players and Coaches will not engage in physical contact such as, but not limited to, handshakes, high fives, fist bumps, etc.
  • Cheering, singing, yelling in close proximity to others is discouraged.
  • Any coach requesting a cloth (PPE) mask will be provided one from the District.


  • All buses will be sanitized before and after trips.
  • Buses: One person per seat. Some events may run a shuttle for JV and V separately.
  • Rosters may be downsized for away games.
  • Parents may transport their own athletes to/from events. An email to the coach in advance is required.
  • Athletes may transport themselves to/from events. An email from the parent to the coach is required in advance.
  • Parents/Athletes may only transport athletes residing in their own household.

Weight Room

  • NCSD will resume the Premier Weight Program beginning July 1 unless otherwise directed by the State.
  • Equipment will be socially distanced.
  • Equipment will be sanitized after each use.
  • A strict schedule (determined by the Activities Director) will be maintained to control group size.

Out-Of-Season Contact

  • Begins July 1 (open gym, etc.) unless otherwise directed by the State.
  • All schedules must be cleared by the Activities Director.
  • Areas of facility use will be cleared by the Activities Director.
  • Coaches will follow protocol for social distancing and proper sanitation.

NCSD Facility Use

  • The track will be open to the public beginning June 1.
  • Proper social distancing should be maintained.
  • All other NCSD facility use must be scheduled with NCSD Administration following July 1 (unless otherwise directed by the State).
  • School personnel must be present to ensure IDPH recommendations are followed.
  • Additional custodial fees for sanitation may be applied.


  • Graduation will take place at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 12 unless otherwise directed by the State.
  • Weather permitting, graduation will take place at Cub Stadium with attendance and social distancing restrictions to be announced.
  • Graduation will be live-streamed.
  • The second back-up date for Graduation is August 9.


  • Prom is scheduled for Friday, July 10. This event is pending state guidance on indoor gatherings.

6/30 Update

Within the past week, we have received competing recommendations from two entities that we look to for guidance.

The Iowa Department of Education (DE) released guidance for reopening schools. Within that guidance, the DE cited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendation that schools do not need to screen students and staff upon entering the building. They also indicated that requiring face coverings for all staff and students is not recommended.

Guidance was also released from the Story County Health Board of Directors that recommended that wearing masks should be required of staff, temperature screening protocols should be put in place, as well as implement social distancing standards.

We take the guidance from Story County Health Department and Iowa Department of Education very seriously and their recommendations weigh heavily in our ability to make informed decisions. And even though the guidance is helpful, we know that we must make decisions that are in the best interest of our students, staff, families, and community. We must also balance the need for our students to get a quality education and understand the logistics and reality that come along with that.

We know that there are a lot of questions about what school will look like in the fall. Given the unprecedented spring that we just navigated together and the continued uncertainty around the coronavirus, this is very understandable. Will we be able to return to school at full capacity? Will students be required to wear masks? What safety procedures will be in place? What happens if we are not able to return? Etc.

School districts are required to complete a Return to Learn Plan due by July 1st to the Department of Education (DE). Those plans must include contingencies for the following:

  • A full return to school (On-Site Delivery),
  • If school is closed again (Required Continuous Online Learning)
  • Combination of the two if only a certain percentage of students can attend on a given day (Hybrid Learning).

The submission of the Return to Learn Plan is essentially a list of assurances that the District will be prepared for these scenarios, as well as necessary health and safety mitigation.

Over the next few weeks, we will continue to collaborate with Story County Health Department and Story County Emergency Management to develop a matrix on how decisions are made to move from one education model to another, as well as the specific plans for our health and safety mitigation.

The details of our Return to School planning will be released in the coming weeks, well-prior to the school start date of August 24. This past school year was one unlike any and circumstances continue to be very fluid in nature.  We appreciate your patience and understanding as we continue to develop our plans and have a more accurate understanding of what school will look like in the fall.


NCSD Stakeholders,

On Wednesday, May 21st, Governor Reynolds announced that the high school baseball and softball seasons would be allowed this summer, beginning June 1. We know that many of you have questions as to how this will look for Nevada and what precautions and accommodations will be necessary for our athletes, coaches, and spectators. Please know that our administration is actively working through a myriad of state and federal guidance documents on this topic. The last guidance documents from the two state athletic associations are expected next Tuesday, May 26. Following that release, NCSD will publicly release our plans and protocols for summer activities on Wednesday, May 27. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Have a great weekend,
Dr. Steve Gray, NCSD Superintendent


NCSD Stakeholders,

As you likely know, Governor Reynolds held a press conference this morning and ordered schools to remain closed through the remainder of the school year. Although this decision is in the best interest of the health and safety of our learning community, it certainly creates a great deal of uncertainty as we consider wrapping up a school year in a very unconventional manner. I want to assure the Nevada Community that we will continue to walk alongside you throughout this unprecedented journey.

This school closure has been far from ideal and I know that you have many questions. We have attempted to answer some of those below.  I know this situation has offered some tremendous challenges to students, parents and staff members. Please accept my deepest appreciation to those that have agreed to partner with us during this most difficult time. The way everyone in this community has rallied around our students and families is the epitome of Nevada Cub Pride.

And last, but certainly not least, my heart goes out to the 2020 Senior Class. This doesn’t seem fair and I’m sorry this has caused such a distraction to your last year as a Nevada Cub. Just remember, “Once a Cub, Always a Cub”! Please know you are special to us and we will work hard to honor you and celebrate you for all of your accomplishments.


Dr. Steve Gray, Superintendent


  • Will the District continue to offer Voluntary Educational Enrichment Opportunities at the PK-8 levels?
    • Yes, the District will continue to offer online and hard copy resources to students and parents through the end of the school year (June 3).
  • Will the District be moving towards Required Educational Services for High School classes to finish the year?
    • Administration and staff have been preparing to move NHS courses completely online and Required Educational Services will be the recommendation to the School Board on Monday, April 20. Plans and logistics were communicated to NHS students and parents the afternoon of 4/17/20.
  • Why aren’t Required Educational Services being offered at the Middle School Level?
    • There are many logistical and legal reasons preventing the District from taking that step at this time:
      • There are equity issues and barriers that must be overcome to offer required instruction
        • Special Education/504 and English Language Learner accommodations
        • Internet Accessibility
        • Device Accessibility – repair due to supply chain issues (parts often come from China); replacement is limited to the reserve devices that we have in our inventory
        • Age/Independent Learners – Providing grade-appropriate instruction in a remote learning environment creates different challenges for various ages of learners
      • While we know that we cannot overcome all of these barriers PK-12 with over 1,500 learners, we believe we are now prepared to offer required instruction to our 450 most independent and self-directed students to finish second semester credits.
  • What about Graduation, Prom, National Honor Society Induction Ceremony, High School Awards/Scholarship Ceremony, etc.?
    • The District plans to honor all of these important events and details will be communicated next week.
  • Is there now a chance that my child will be held back at their current grade level?
    • Unless you were contacted by your child’s teacher prior to our closure, your child will be promoted to their next grade level in the fall. We will work with all students when we return to school to fill in the gaps left by our time away from school.
  • If another closure is required at some point next fall could other grade levels be added to the required online platform?
    • Possibly. The District will be researching and preparing for this throughout the spring and summer.
  • Will the curbside meal program continue throughout the spring and summer?
    • Yes, it is the District’s intent to continue the program into August unless otherwise directed by State or Federal guidance.
  • Given that the Governor waived the August 23 school start date, will the district plan to start school earlier than the current August 24 indicated on the 2020-2021 school calendar?
    • It is not likely. Given that we do not yet know what June-July will bring in regard to COVID-19 regulations, it would be difficult to communicate a new start date to families and staff with such short notice.
  • My child still has personal items at the school. When and how can those be retrieved?
    • The District will provide guidance for this soon.
  • How long will students keep their Chromebooks?
    • The District will communicate a turn-in date for Seniors sometime after July 3. All other students with Chromebooks will keep them throughout the summer. Grades 9-11 will exchange for a new device on the first day of school in August. The District will communicate with Middle School students to ensure that all devices are repaired for the first day back in the fall.
  • Will the district now distribute devices to elementary students?
    • At this time, we will not be issuing devices to elementary students to maintain reserve devices for our High School students completing required coursework.
  • When can I get my child’s yearbook?
    • This is to be determined, but yearbooks will likely be distributed when school resumes in August.
  • Will the ‘Food for Thought’ program still happen as scheduled this summer?
    • To be determined.
  • Will we offer Elementary summer school as planned in August?
    • To be determined.
  • Will Boys and Girls Club summer programming still happen?
    • To be determined.


NCSD Stakeholders,

This afternoon, Governor Reynolds held a press conference extending the school closure period until April 30. Since the Governor’s initial recommendation to close schools on March 15, we have desired to return to our schools. We miss our students and the daily joy that they bring us. But for the safety of our students, teachers, and community, we agree and appreciate the Governor’s recommendation to close schools. As a result, the Nevada Community School District will be closed through April 30. This includes, but is not limited to, all school buildings, extra-curricular activities, community events, as well as athletic practices and competitions. We further ask that our playgrounds not be used as the equipment is not disinfected.

Summary of District Action

  • The administration directed a safe and orderly process for staff and students to get essential items from the buildings. The buildings have been disinfected and will remain closed to all with the exception of select staff deemed essential to current operations.
  • An emergency meal program was established to provide breakfast and lunch to any child age 18 or younger. Services through the District’s food pantry (Cubbies Cupboard) and Backpack Meal Program have also been extended.
  • Families were provided optional learning resources to use during the closure. Following the initial release of optional learning resources to families, staff began working additionally to provide more targeted resources which continue to be updated regularly.
  • Staff are working hard to stay connected with students on a weekly basis during closure.

Department of Education Guidance on Continuous Learning

Since before spring break, we started curating resources that we quickly developed into a Digital Learning Resources website. These online engagement materials followed guidance at the time from the Iowa Department of Education that encouraged districts to provide engagement materials to students without requiring participation.

New guidance from the Department of Education (April 2) is providing public districts with two continuous learning options. The first is Voluntary Educational Enrichment Opportunities, where student participation is voluntary and no grading or credit is given.

The other option is Required Educational Services where continuous learning ensures that academic work is equivalent to typical classroom work. Instruction would be provided online and students are required to participate, attendance is taken, work is graded, and credit granted.

All public districts are required to indicate which method of continuous learning they will use from April 13 through April 30 by submitting their responses no later than April 10. Districts may combine the two options as a hybrid delivery method for different grade levels in any way that best serves the needs of their students.

During this school closure period, we have been actively exploring what continuing education looks like in Nevada. This has included how we deliver education, determining what it looks like at each level, and how we can support teachers and buildings in this endeavor. We have also been considering challenges related to equity and access, as well as how we serve students with special needs.

Although we have been at work knowing that this extended school closure was a possibility, we had not been informed about what would be required of Districts until this afternoon. With the Governor’s announcement today, we will be moving forward with additional plans based on their guidance. Issues regarding equity, access, credit, graduation, state, and post-secondary requirements will lead our initial efforts towards planning for Required Educational Services at the High School level, and Voluntary Educational Enrichment Opportunities at the PK-8 level.

Template for Continuous Learning

As part of their guidance this afternoon, the Department of Education provided districts a template for continuous learning. Designed to use locally, the areas include:

  • Define Teacher and Student Expectations
  • Identify Your Delivery Platforms
  • Communicate with Internal and External Stakeholders
  • Ensure Professional Development
  • Define and Ensure Student Access

We have taken the last couple of weeks to incorporate many of these areas. Our immediate next steps include vetting the new guidance to develop an ongoing plan for teaching and learning to best meet the needs of students as developmentally and age appropriate in this new environment.

Linked here is guidance that the Department of Education released today. On a webinar call this afternoon, it was noted that additional FAQ guidance will soon be provided.

With this extended closure period, we know that there will be a lot of questions. The past two weeks have introduced a career-defining time for most educators and we are committed to maintaining our increased level of communication with stakeholders. Above all, know that the Nevada District, more than ever, is both honored and humbled to be of service to our children and community. Our thoughts are with all who are experiencing hardship. We are committed to stand together and we will get through this!

Dr. Steve Gray, Superintendent


Nevada CSD Stakeholders,

We recognize there are a number of questions and concerns as related to COVID-19 and how our school district will navigate this health crisis. This dynamic situation has offered plenty of challenges to be accurate and timely with new developments. By the hour, we continue to receive new guidance from a variety of local, state and federal agencies.

The State of Iowa is recommending that Iowa school districts close for four weeks to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. This recommendation comes as guidance from the Iowa Department of Public Health. As a result, Nevada Schools will be closed for the recommended period of time and is tentatively scheduled to reopen on Monday, April 13, 2020.

I know there are many questions regarding our announcement of closure. The rate in which this COVID-19 situation is unfolding is unprecedented in our time, and fluid in nature. A few frequently asked questions are addressed below:

Will we provide online (e-learning) to our students during the closure?
No, while we are equipped to provide this service in many areas, we are not currently equipped to provide this service equitably for all students. The District will provide online resources to students and parents to use at their discretion.

Will the District provide meals to students during the closure?
Yes, it is our intent to offer sack lunches for pickup during the closure. The District is in the process of gaining State approval and will communicate the logistics of meal orders and distribution as soon as plans are finalized. The District is also working through logistics to continue the Backpack Meal Program and Cubbies Cupboard (food pantry).

My child’s medication is at school. Can I get this and/or other personal belongings?
Yes, please call your school’s office to arrange a pickup time.

Will schools be required to make up days lost due to the closure?
Indications are that the State will provide discretion regarding the required 1080 hours of instruction currently required. The District will adhere to requirements as determined by the Iowa Department of Education.

How will the District complete state and federally mandated assessments?
Indications are that a waiver will be granted.

What are childcare options in Nevada?
The Nevada Community School District, City of Nevada, Mainstreet Nevada, and Nevada Economic Development Council are currently discussing possibilities to link willing private providers with families in need. Any childcare transaction would be between the willing provider and family in need, but the school district can serve the public as the primary source of information.

Thank you for your patience and understanding. We all have many questions, information is developing rapidly, and guidance is changing daily. We will work together as a community to overcome these challenges.

Dr. Steve Gray, Nevada Superintendent


Tonight, Governor Reynolds announced that she is recommending that Iowa school districts close for four weeks to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. This recommendation comes from guidance from the Iowa Department of Public Health and based on CDC guidelines. Tomorrow, March 16, she will hold a press conference that more clearly outlines school closure expectations, such as expected dates of closure and re-opening. At the time of this message, a time for the press conference had not yet been announced. We will provide updates as they are available to us regarding school closure and other pertinent information.

Nevada Community School District will follow the advice and cancel all programs, activities, and classes effective March 17, 2020. This includes outside organizations who access our buildings including Nevada Community Resource Center (NCRC).

The Nevada Community School District is on a scheduled Spring Break this upcoming week, March 16 – 20. We will keep you updated as we find out more information that will help you plan for the coming weeks.

You can read Governor Reynolds press release at the URL below:


Central Iowa School Districts Unify on COVID-19 Crisis

In light of recent university and public-school closures, many central Iowa school district leaders met Friday, March 13, to collaborate and develop a consistent message for our broader communities. Representatives from the Governor’s Office and other educational agencies were also present. At this time, we believe it is in the best interest of our families and staff to resume school as planned after spring break (Monday, March 23, 2020).

Student and staff safety remains our top priority. We all look to the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) for their expertise and direction. IDPH currently believes the risk to our student and staff population is low. We also acknowledge many of our families rely on district-provided childcare and nutritional resources.

We will continue to partner with IDPH and follow their standard protocol for reportable illnesses. This may result in a need to close a specific building, district, or region of schools. IDPH will be the primary source for how we make our decisions regarding COVID-19.

In addition to IDPH, we are in communication with Story County Public Health and the Iowa Department of Education (IDE). Central Iowa school districts will continue to follow the guidance of these agencies and work together to keep students, families, and staff safe and informed.


Where you get your information about this virus is important. Look for information from reliable and trusted experts. Social media posts often report partial or inaccurate information.

World Health Organization: Coronavirus FAQs

World Health Organization

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Iowa Department of Public Health

Story County Health Department

What You Can Do To Help

Families and community members can help by following these simple, easy steps that help prevent the spread of ALL contagious viruses, including COVID-19. Practice the same routine hygiene used to help prevent the cold and flu.

  • Frequently wash your hands for 20 seconds or more with soapy water. If unavailable, use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

I wish you all a healthy and enjoyable spring break.

Dr. Steve Gray, NCSD Superintendent


Good afternoon,

Information has recently been published from the Des Moines Public School District regarding their plan to close schools and resume all classes on Monday, March 30. While their spring break is a part of this time off, it does include two additional days out of school for their students in response to COVID-19 (staff had PD planned for March 23-25).

It is important to know that the Department of Public Health is not, at this time, recommending school closures. We are expecting an announcement and guidance from the Iowa Department of Education and the Department of Public Health regarding schools and COVID-19 tomorrow. This is a very dynamic situation and information will change over time. We will communicate information to our staff and families as it becomes available. We encourage you to review this PK-12 School Guidance document from the Iowa Department of Public Health that was provided to us.

Thank you,

Dr. Steve Gray, NCSD Superintendent