School districts across central Iowa met on Friday, March 13 and issued a joint statement to continue school following spring break.

District leaders met on Friday with representatives from the governor's office, as well as with other educational agencies. 

"In light of recent university and public school closures, central Iowa school district leaders met Friday, March 13, to collaborate and develop a consistent message for our broader communities," the statement said. "At this time, we believe it is in the best interest of our families and staff to resume school as planned after spring break."

Local school districts involved in the meeting included ADM, Dallas Center-Grimes, Van Meter, Waukee and Woodward-Granger.

"Student and staff safety remains our top priority. We all look to the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) for their expertise and direction. IDPH currently believes the risk to our student and staff population is low," the statement continued. "We will continue to partner with IDPH and follow their standard protocol for reportable illnesses."

That could include, the statement said, closing a specific building, district or region of schools. The statement added that "IDPH will be the primary source for how we make our decisions regarding COVID-19."

In addition to IDPH, we are in continuous communication with the Polk County Health Department (PCHD), the Iowa Department of Education (IDE), and the Governor Reynolds Office. Central Iowa school districts will continue to follow the guidance of these agencies and work together to keep students, families, and staff safe and informed.

What You Can Do To Help

Families and community members can help by following these simple, easy steps that help prevent the spread of ALL contagious viruses, including COVID-19. Practice the same routine hygiene used to help prevent the cold and flu.

Frequently wash your hands for 20 seconds or more with soapy water. If unavailable, use hand sanitizer. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Stay home when you are sick. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

The following school districts collaborated on this topic:

ADM Community School District Ames Community School District Ankeny Community School District Ballard Community School District Bondurant-Farrar Community School District Carlisle Community School District Dallas Center-Grimes Community School District Indianola Community School District I-35 Community School District Johnston Community School District North Polk Community School District Norwalk Community School District Pleasantville Community School District Prairie City Monroe Community School District Saydel Community School District Southeast Polk Community School District Urbandale Community School District Van Meter Community School District Waukee Community School District West Des Moines Community Schools Winterset Community School District Woodward-Granger Community School District