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Jasper County Tribune

Back to school

Colfax-Mingo returns to the classrooms with a Return to Learn plan in hand

With school back in session, the Return to Learn plan developed by Colfax-Mingo is now underway. The plan, which covers on-site learning, hybrid learning and continuous learning, will be the blueprint for the district moving through the 2020-2020 school year.

“Colfax-Mingo’s vision is to ensure curriculum, instruction, and assessment are student centered and focused on continuous improvement. Meaningful learning is achieved through collaboration, technology integration and high expectations for all,” superintendent Erik Anderson said. “We believe that this vision holds true for our community of learners regardless of whether learning happens within the school walls or remotely through our continuous learning or hybrid learning plans.”

On-site Learning Plan

CMCSD’s plan for on-site learning will be enacted when it is determined the district can all safely meet at school with some continued safety precautions still required. All staff and students will be required to wear a face covering while in the building. Face masks will be available on a daily basis for students to use. The masks will be kept at school and washed after each use.

The staff will utilize spaces available to provide every opportunity for students to be 6-ft apart, when possible. That may include a class being outdoors.

To assess student and staff health needs, parent/guardians are expected to take each child’s temperature before allowing them to attend school each day. If the student has a temperature of 100.0 degrees or higher, the student should be kept at home. Parent/Guardians are expected to be knowledgeable of the district’s symptom chart and keep their child at home if the child exhibits any of the symptoms.

If a student has a temperature of 100.0 or higher upon arrival, the parent/guardian will be contacted and student must be sent home for 24 hours per CDC guidelines.

Visitors will be required to sign off on a wellness check when entering the building.

It is recommended each student bring their own water bottle to be filled at the filling stations in each building. There are two bottle filling stations at the elementary building and three stations at the secondary building. Students will not be able to drink directly from the water fountains.

Cleaning and sainting processes at the schools will include hand sanitizer or hand washing at the secondary building would be needed at the beginning of each class period, before and after lunch, etc.  All handled surfaces including, but not limited to desks, door handles, light switches at the elementary need to be cleaned/wiped down at the end of each day. All handled surfaces including, but not limited to desks door handles at the secondary building need to be wiped down after each class.  

Students will be asked to keep a “safe distance” walking through the hallways with hallways marked with expectations of staying to the right side.

A designated “well area’ and “sick area” are at each building along with a separate “bandages from fevers”.

Hybrid Learning Plan

CMCSD’s plan for hybrid learning would be enacted when it is determined the district cannot safely meet with all students and staff, but rather with a certain percentage as determined by health and government officials.

“The CMCSD Hybrid Learning plan meets the expectations of CMCSD’s mission and vision, fulfills the basic human need of face-to-face interaction, stays focused on meeting the learning and social-emotional needs of our students, allows our youngest learners to develop face-to-face relationships with staff, creates opportunities for 9th-12th grade students to enhance their independence and accountability when enacted, will be followed for two weeks, then reviewed for continuation and meets CDC and IDPH guidelines,” Anderson said.

All students will be in one of two groups, Blue or Orange. The groups will attend on alternating days. When not in attendance, the students will be continue their learning through the Continuous Learning Plan.

When in the building, students will follow their normal class schedule. On continuous learning days, students may be asked to complete assigned tasks, participate in any virtual meetings necessary, work independently or work collaboratively with other students in a virtual setting.

The Blue Group are students with parent/guardian last names A-L and the Orange Group are students with parent/guardian last names M-Z. Groups were created to allow each family to have the same day of attendance in an effort to alleviate as much burden on the family as possible. 

The first day Hybrid Planning would take effect, Blue Group would be on-site and Orange Group would be at home with continuous learning. The second day, Orange Group would be on-site and Blue Group would be at home with continuous learning. This pattern would alternate for two weeks, then the district would reassess.

During the Hybrid Plan, temperature screenings will take place at the door at the Jr/Sr High building and in the classrooms at the elementary building. Any student with a temperature of 100.0 degrees or higher will not be allowed to attend school that day and will be required to fever free for 24 hours.

Continuous Learning Plan

CMCSD’s plan for required continuous learning would be enacted when it is determined the district cannot safely meet at school in any capacity but continued learning is still required for all students.

“Each student has been impacted differently by the COVID-19 closures during the 2019-20 school year. We are committed to provide instruction to accelerate student’s learning to meet or exceed grade level expectations. We will identify unfinished learning and embed those educational needs into the current grade level standards and curriculum,” Anderson said.

In order to build and implement a gap-closing schedule, each teacher will administer a pretest each unit being prepared to teach, based on the grade level priority standards for each course/subject. To build the schedule, screening testing will occur as planned (K-6 FAST, iReady; 7-8 FAST; 9-12 MAP) as used as part of instructional decision making. The district will also use multiple sources of data to prioritize instruction (students and standards).

Each teacher will facilitate two-way communication with students and parents and post the learning target(s) to be met each week. Time to meet or extend that learning target will be scheduled, dependent upon individual student needs.

Each teacher will also record lessons as needed to ensure the opportunity for all students to participate.

Students and parents will receive or have access to timely feedback connected to the learning target(s) and/or priority standard(s). Student progress will be reported at the end of each grading period (trimester, quarter, semester): PK-6 — Assessment reports will be shared with parents; 7-12 — Formative grades will be reported via JMC on a weekly basis.


During On-Site and Hybrid Learning, Colfax-Mingo will continue to offer transportation for students to and from school.  Any parent/guardian that is able to transport their own child to school, would be the safest mode of transportation.

Once students are on the bus, they will be required to wear a face covering the entire time while on the bus, have assigned seats and sit facing forward the entire time on the bus.

Public Internet Access

CMCSD is providing free external public internet access at three locations in the district: Colfax-Mingo Elementary in Colfax, Colfax-Mingo Middle School in Mingo and Colfax-Mingo Jr/Sr High in Colfax. Specific areas around the buildings will be wi-fi accessible. The expectation would be for anyone using this free wi-fi access to ensure social distancing guidelines are met. If a CMCSD family needs additional supports in terms of internet access, please contact the district office at 515-674-3646.

The district will also work to address social emotional well-being throughout each phase. Through frequent student and staff surveys, the district will gauge individual’s needs throughout the year. The district will also provide families with a resource and needs survey through technology, paper and mail. 

Classroom teachers and advisors will document wellness checks of each student at the beginning and end of the week. Advisor or classroom teacher will have individual meetings with students once per week with the focus being on social-emotional well-being. 

Teachers and staff will define, teach and reinforce our school wide social, emotional, behavioral  expectations as they relate to on-site learning. 

For the full Return to Learn plan or additional information, contact the school district or visit the website at

Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or

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