North Tama goes hybrid

File Photo - North Tama Telegraph

The North Tama Redhawks will have two options for returning to learn later this month. As of now school is set to return Wednesday, August 26.

Families will be able to choose between hybrid learning and required remote learning.

Hybrid Learning

The Hybrid Learning model combines a shortened in-person school week with online/remote instruction. Students will be assigned to an A or B cohort group, with cohort groups attending school on alternating days.

Cohort A will return on the first day of school in person while cohort B will learn from home. On Thursday, August 27 cohort B will report to school while cohort A learns from home.

The hybrid alternating model will continue on an alternating-day basis through the month of September.

Back to school registration ends August 10. The district intends to release cohort groups a few days following. Students living in the same household will be assigned to the same cohort.

“The district hopes to discontinue hybrid schedules and resume daily in-person instruction for all students as soon as conditions warrant a safe return to school for our entire student population,” the statement read.

Require Remote Learning

North Tama will also offer the option of Required Remote Learning for any family that prefers a home-based instructional experience for their child or children due to a compromised immune system or for any other reason.

Students will be enrolled in an online curriculum program through the North Tama district and will be supported by one or more certified teachers, but learning will take place at home.

Instruction will be supervised and supported by a North Tama staff member. Families needing support with internet access or remote learning devices should contact their child’s principal.

Parents will be asked to officially indicate their preference between Required Remote Learning and Hybrid Learning during the back-to-school registration process, which will take place using an online platform August 1-10.

Parents are encouraged to commit to an entire semester if choosing required remote learning however they can contact the principal at any time to discuss a possible change.

If/when warranted by state guidance, the district will consider a temporary, short-term closure of a school building (PK-6 or 7-12) or the entire district and a move to temporary remote learning for all students during the period of the closure. Remote learning will be directed by the North Tama teaching staff for the duration of the period of the short-term closure.

Health and safety

Students and staff should remain home when sick. Students or staff with high-risk symptoms or two or more low-risk symptoms should stay home and seek an evaluation by a healthcare provider.

High risk symptoms include a new cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, and new loss of taste or smell. Low risk symptoms include fever, headache, muscle and body aches, fatigue, sore throat, runny nose, congestion, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Individuals developing any high risk symptoms or two or more low risk symptoms at school will be sent home. Students being sent home will be isolated prior to being picked up.

If a student or staff member is diagnosed with an illness other than COVID-19, they may return to school after 24 hours with no fever (without the use of fever-reducing medicine) and when symptoms are improving.

If a student or staff member tests negative for COVID-19 and does not receive an alternative diagnosis, they may return to school after 24 hours with no fever (without the use of fever-reducing medicine) and when symptoms are improving.

If a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, notify the school administration immediately and follow the instructions of the administration and Tama County Public Health.

Temperature Checks

The district will be prepared to screen body temperatures of students, staff and visitors as they enter buses, buildings and/or classrooms and throughout the day as needed. However mass temperature checks will only be completed if advised by Tama County Public Health during periods of heightened community transmission of COVID-19.

Sanitization and Hand-washing

A schedule of frequent cleaning and sanitization of surfaces in school facilities will be implemented following CDC guidance with a focus on high-touch surface areas such as the school cafeteria, concession stands, school nurse’s office and buses.

CDC guidance will be taught for handwashing. Schedules for handwashing will be developed within classrooms.

Additional hand sanitizer dispensers have been placed in common areas.

Face Coverings

Students will be required to wear a face covering. Accommodations will be provided to students with legitimate religious or medical reasons.

The district will provide face coverings for students and staff adorned with a North Tama logo.

Two different types of face shields will be supplied to every student and staff member. One will be a head-band style face shield and one that attaches to the bill of a baseball cap or visor. Appropriate hats brought from home will be permitted for this purpose.

Any appropriate mask or PPE brought from home will be allowed.

Students may alternate between different face covering options during the day.

Staff will coordinate opportunities for mask breaks for students at appropriate times when social distancing can be maintained.

All staff will be required to wear a face covering.

Protocol for if testing positive

If a student or staff tests positive for COVID-19 they are to notify school administration immediately. The school will notify Tama County Public Health.

Individuals testing positive should remain isolated at home while awaiting guidance from Tama County Public Health.

You can return to school once released by Tama County Public Health.

If an individual comes into close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual the school will provide Tama County Public Health a list of close contacts. The current definition of close contact is an individual who has been within six feet for more than 15 minutes with a positive COVID-19 case during the infectious period.

Tama County Public Health will work with the school and individual to determine who should be quarantined.

Students can return to school from quarantine due to close contact 14 days from their last contact with the COVID-19 positive individual.

Staff may be considered critical personnel and can be allowed to return to work as long as they remain asymptomatic, especially if there are staffing issues.


Contact Allison Graham at 641-484-2841 or agraham@tamatoledonews.com.