4.21.20 MCS COVID-19 Family Update

Dear Mason City Schools Family,

On Monday, April 20, 2020, Governor DeWine extended the closure of all schools through the end of the 2019-2020 school year. While our school buildings are closed, our staff are working hard to ensure students are supported and learning continues. Your family’s well being is at the forefront of our mind. We know hearing the official word that school isn’t reopening this school year is difficult for a lot of us. We are grappling with the loss of special moments, and normalcy. Please reach out if you need help. Because while we may not be physically together, we are still here for you. 

Watch this video of Superintendent Jonathan Cooper sharing our district’s response to Governor DeWine’s closure order, and addressing a gathering by some members of the MHS Class of 2020.

Below are responses to common questions from our families and the public. 

Why are you no longer reporting if there are confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Mason City Schools community?
In our early communications, we were following the same public health guidelines that we do for communicable diseases. School buildings have now been closed long past the 14 days of transmission, so our students are no longer at risk of contracting the virus from a classmate or staff member while at school. In addition, in order to protect people’s privacy, our public health and state education partners have now advised us to not share information specific to our school district. The state of Ohio does share the numbers of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ohio, as well as the number of confirmed cases by county. As of today, there are 116 confirmed cases in Warren County. You can regularly check this information for updates on the state’s COVID-19 website

Some MHS seniors went to the high school parking lot last night and didn’t practice social distancing. What is the district doing?
Last night, Mason City Schools joined school districts around the country in turning on the stadium lights, and asked the community to turn on porch lights to honor the Class of 2020 at 8:20pm. We appreciate that many students remained home. However, we learned a lesson after seeing pictures and videos that showed some seniors gathering without physical distancing. As soon as reports came in, police were notified and responded. Our students were very respectful to law enforcement officers, and several apologized. We recognize that our students are craving connection. There is no doubt that social distancing is hard for many of our teens and children. We also now better understand how even events that are intended to honor students from afar could unintentionally tempt them to violate the state’s orders that protect Ohioans. We will apply lessons from this situation as we consider other ways to honor students. We ask for your support in helping our children and teens socialize safely. 

Now that we know we won’t be coming back to school in May, can we pick up items left in classrooms and the buildings?
If your child is in need of items required for remote learning, please email your child’s principal and he or she will work with you to have the item delivered to you, or come up with a safe way for you to pick it up. Next week, we will announce plans for families to retrieve remaining items that have been left at school. In order to maintain social distancing requirements, families will be asked to remain in cars, and your child’s items will be placed in your vehicle’s trunk.

I love seeing the Comet Connector bus going through town. How can I sign up my child, and does it have to be for a birthday?
During this time when buildings are closed, we know that some Comets are missing seeing their bus drivers and riding the bus. Also we have Comets marking special birthday milestones without their friends or extended family. To help make our Comets days a little more special during this time of social distancing, our Mason City Schools Transportation Department will be glad to pay your Comet a special visit with the Comet Connector Bus! This does not have to be for a birthday – you can sign up just to celebrate YOUR Comet!

Use this form to request the Comet Connector Bus come to your home.

How can we support our commUNITY?
#CometCarryout: This is a very crucial time for our local businesses, especially those in hospitality. Consider supporting our local businesses on this list. 

Participate in the Chamber’s MADE to Eat Takeout Blitz and see how many local restaurants you can support. In addition, donate to Joshua’s Place and choose “Comet Carryout” and you can bless a family in need with a meal from one of our local businesses.


View previous updates.


We miss you!


Sincerely,

Tracey Carson
Public Information Officer

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