Dear Dubuque Community Schools Families,

I recently shared with our teachers that I saw a social media post recently commenting on how the past week has felt like the longest year ever. I’m sure that you can relate – the coronavirus situation is evolving daily, information is constant and shifting, and the uncertainty has brought new pressures and challenges to our everyday life.

As families, we know that you are now faced with juggling work, lack of work, or working from home, in addition to providing childcare, continuing social distancing efforts – and now, helping your student continue learning.

We will make it through this together.

Our teachers are longing for connections with students. They miss the energy that comes with the classroom and are working hard to navigate the new territory of keeping students engaged and learning remotely.

We are all striving for some sense of normalcy in times that are anything but normal.

As we receive and work to understand the constantly evolving guidance from the state in order to finalize our learning offerings for students in upcoming days, we will continue to put students and families first in our decision-making.

And, while we can’t promise that the upcoming months will be without bumps, we can promise you the following:

  • We will be flexible – understanding that families will do as much as they can and what is best for them during this time. We ask for that flexibility and understanding in return as the situation continues to evolve.
  • We will work to provide educational opportunities as equitably as possible, working to recognize and reduce barriers to learning exacerbated by this situation – knowing that for many families, their first focus will be on maintaining basic human needs during this pandemic.
  • We will continue communicating regularly and transparently. We won’t always have all the answers. Information will change and evolve, and tomorrow’s answer may be different than today’s due to changing circumstances. But we will always communicate and listen.
  • We will approach all of our work with empathy, realizing that this global situation presents pressures that challenge our emotional wellbeing and can enhance feelings of anxiety, fear and uncertainty. We ask that you remember that our teachers and staff are dealing with these same pressures while working to put our students and families first.

As you know first-hand, our staff are amazing – and they continue to do astounding work with students and families under arguably the most challenging circumstances we have faced in our lifetime. Families, it’s important that you know the same goes for you – we know that you are under immense pressure, are making immense sacrifices and are doing incredible work to support your family.

We will make it through this together.

On behalf of the Dubuque Community School District, we are proud to be part of the bedrock of this community. We are proud of how our families, district and community have stepped up to serve the most vulnerable among us.

We are #DbqSchoolsProud and we are in this together.

Stan Rheingans