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‘One more plea’: Area superintendents release letter addressing COVID

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GALENA–Jo Daviess County superintendents released a joint statement on Tuesday, Aug. 25 to alert parents, staff and community members about the dangers that COVID still poses to in-person education and the need for everyone to abide by protocols to ensure that students can attend school.

“The superintendents have been working hand-in-hand all spring and summer with this COVID issue,” said East Dubuque Superintendent TJ Potts.

“The thing that is important to know is all the county schools have been in almost daily contact about protocol,” said Tim Vincent, Galena superintendent. “We make sure we are doing as much as possible and using the same guidelines and advice as the rest of the county. That has been the culture from the summer to today. It has stemmed from the idea that we want to be on the same page with each other.”

Scales Mound Superintendent Dr. Bill Caron penned the letter and sent it to the other five superintendents for their review.

“The crux of it is what we are constantly reinforcing to families and staff about the importance of following protocols and social distancing when not in school,” said Vincent. “Also, reminding parents to self certify and not send kids when they show symptoms.”

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The letter comes after Warren, Stockton and Scales Mound school districts were impacted by COVID only one week into the start of the new school year.

As of Aug. 27, Galena and East Dubuque had not had a positive case in their district.

“So far, Galena School District has been incredible of how smoothly it has gone,” said Vincent. “The credit goes to the staff who has implemented the plan and the community that is following the protocol. It has been a team effort. We haven’t had a positive test within the school yet, and are willing to communicate that if it does happen.”

The letter indicates one last plea by district officials to the community to follow protocols.

“We felt that as a group we need one more plea to our communities that we are only going to be able to do in-person learning if every person in every community in Jo Daviess is doing their part,” said Potts.

“We want to stay in school as much as possible,” said Vincent. “We all need to be doing our part to remain in school as long as possible.”

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