Iowa schools and COVID-19: Staffers work to keep South Hamilton safe

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On November 16, when the Iowa State Observatory visited the South Hamilton School, the wind was blowing corn husks through the school parking lot.

The staff went by for another day, trying to keep up with the daily reports of sick students and faculty, ensuring that the children almost always smoked hand sanitizer and put on masks, kept a proper distance from social activities during band practice and lunch, and avoided teaching face-to-face And virtual learners, and spend more time helping those struggling.

Even the dining room is different this year.

The cafeteria table has limited seating.

Extra tables have been set up on the balcony of the high school gymnasium; pesto with Italian seasoning and Italian seasoning hovering beside the school banner, announcing the athletic ability of South Hamilton.

Here is a glimpse of more than 700 students and communities in the South Hamilton School District.

Ken Howard's office, like a newly opened time capsule, showcases the history of South Hamilton.

From the beginning of the plan in 1968, to the opening of the Jewell Building to the lyrics of school songs, there are many historical relics on the walls.

There are also some new reminders this year, such as masks that rarely lose face.

No one could foresee a fundamental change in the way students in Iowa coached. According to the Iowa Department of Education, there are 330 public school districts with 487,652 students and 37,386 teachers. They work in 1,316 buildings.

In mid-March, Howard saw the rapid spread of COVID-19 in Iowa and the United States.

Howard said: "I saw it and said,'Oh, this has reached our door.'

He helped to collect resources and the community actively participated to put the children on the path of learning.

The local telephone company has established a WiFi connection so that children can go online for distance learning. Employees spent extra time preparing lesson plans and developing innovative teaching methods. The local church opened its doors and provided students with social spaces in the spring, summer and fall so that they could work on laptops.

The towns in the school district have established food distribution places for families in financial difficulties. US Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that the unemployment rate in Hamilton County surged to 9.2% in April, but has been declining since.

The pantry of the Bethesda Lutheran Church in Yellore can help the hungry.

"Our local food bank has an automated pickup service; they bring things to people." Wright said.

"USED" is written on the plastic bucket in the South Hamilton Band Room. There was a basket next to it with "clean" written on it.

There are drumsticks in each container, some of which have been sterilized.

This is another simple way to help students prevent contracting the virus.

Band coach Alexa Gibbs pays great attention to cleanliness. There are 140 band students in grades 7-12.

The school’s auditorium is marked with six-foot-long seats separated by students, located in areas of greater social distance.

For the exhaust valve for brass players, put the puppy indoor training mat on the floor to absorb rainwater. 

Gibbs said: "Having something is better than nothing."

Steve Neuberger, who is in charge of elementary school, and Jason Woodley, who is in charge of grades 7-12, started work in July.

They are faced with the requirement to redesign the school to ensure their safety while keeping students motivated and on the road to graduation.

Woodley walked into the school's dining room, where students not only had to eat, but also socialized. He started from the perspective of Disneyland and looked at it from a new perspective-even if it is necessary to wear a mask, it is an interesting experience driven by enthusiastic employees.

He said: "Let us pretend that this is the greatest place on earth in the cafeteria."

Academic plans must be developed for every situation: online learners only, face-to-face students, and a mixed schedule used during the outbreak in mid-September.

"I think everyone bought it," Newberg said. "This is what we are going to do."

This is continuous effort.

"No one can really bypass it; just like people have accepted this year's madness." Newberg said. "In the end, we will accept that this is the best thing we can do for the children."

Shelby Fonken's frontline service between South Hamilton School Gate and COVID-19.

A child with a fever, cough, or runny nose came into her office.

While ensuring the safety of students, faculty and staff, she also played a key role in working with the public to prevent fear from engulfing the entire community. Fonken will contact and track students who have tested positive and track their known whereabouts 48 hours before the student feels unwell for the first time.

A key part of her job is to provide information about COVID-19 on the school website. South Hamilton issues daily notices about the number of missing children and staff.

Providing these details is a bold step because some school districts do not share them.

"For me, COVID has no secrets," Woodley said.

In the first few months since joining in August, she has become an important part of the South Hamilton team.

"We are together," Funken said. "We will finish it once a day."

Junior physical education teacher Jeff Steines created his own YouTube channel SHCoachSteines to keep kids active.

From March to June, he created the "Like Mike Challenge", which required students to perform and record their basketball skills. Inspired by the great NBA Michael Jordan (Michael Jordan) is an obvious choice. Jordan's posters and photos adorn Staines desk and office walls.

Do two students use a leaf blower to keep the ball in the air? finished

Put value on the goal? got it.

"I just want them to move," Steins said.

South Hamilton uses technology to help children during the pandemic. As local suppliers increased the signal strength of certain laptops, regional communities improved broadband access this fall. 

If students who are not in the building encounter problems, Steins will find a way. 

Stains said: "If there are obstacles, we must eliminate them."

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