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Decorah Superintendent Mark Lane shares his thoughts as the beginning of the unprecedented school year draws near

Posted: Mon, Jul 27, 2020 12:31 PM

Decorah School District Superintendent Mark Lane responded to how he perceives many in the community are feeling as the beginning of the unprecedented 2020/2021 school year is right around the corner.

In a July 24th email to families, Lane emphasized that even though the state's school guidance is ever-changing, the district's priorities remain the same and will be the focus of any Return-to-Learn plan.

Lane wrote, "I feel confident in saying I know staff, students, and parents want more concrete information than I am providing today. Please know I am in that same position. For example, just today, as I am finalizing this message, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released new and updated guidance to schools. It will now take time to digest this new information, and to consider how it might impact our plans.

I also know there are people who will disagree with the recommendations I plan to make to our Board of Directors, and that is all right. There is no decision in this current environment that can make everyone happy, because unfortunately, many decisions feel like lose-lose propositions. I will continue to operate under the priorities we first communicated in our logic model created back in April:

Our Priorities:

    Student learning and well-being
    Staff capacity to carry out the work
    Equity across all student groups
    Developmentally appropriate, quality student opportunities
    Feasibility of deployment

The first two priorities mean the long-term health and safety of our students and staff are the most critical consideration for every decision we make; and we will always err on the side of being conservative in our approach because the cost of doing too much is more acceptable than the cost of doing too little."

Lane anticipates the Decorah School Board of Directors will meet for a special meeting Monday, August 3rd in order to approve the reopening plan.