Murray reports COVID-19 impacts on local schools to the board of education

By: Donovan W. Mann –

Dakota City, IA – The Humboldt Community School Districts Superintendent is reporting positive outlook on keeping the students in the classroom in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the most recent meeting of the Board of Education for the Humboldt CSD Superintendent Jim Murray reported further on how the schools have been impacted by COVID-19. He says the amount of COVID-19 related quarantines within the schools varies from week to week and from building to building.

In Humboldt County the positivity rate is higher but school attendance is also still up. Murray says he can “confidently” say attendance is still at about 95 percent. He also says that often times student have to going into quarantine for non-school related exposure.

Murray says that if the schools had to go into a remote learning model it will more likely be because of staffing concerns. He says the pool of substitutes is thinner this year and could result in short staff. It is easier to become a substitute in the state of Iowa this year due to some requirements being waived based on the circumstances. Retired teachers can also become subs without losing their retirement benefits. He encourages any community members interested in helping out by becoming a substitute to look into doing so.

If the schools were to have to go into a remote learning model for any reason the superintendent says it doesn’t have to be for a long time. Remote learning will always be a last resort for the schools. If it does happen Murray tells the board it could only be a two week period in which he hopes everyone would be responsible and quarantine.

Murray and Schools Activities Director Greg Thomas are also addressing policies for upcoming events due to COVID-19’s rise in the local community. They are considering changes including requiring masks for spectators and limiting ticket numbers. These factors are still in the discussion phase.

As the community and schools continue to work through the ongoing pandemic the goal will remain for the leadership at Humboldt Community Schools. They plan to keep the students in the classroom in a safe and productive manner for as long as they can without sacrificing the physical, emotional and social wellbeing of the students.