JOHNSTON —- Governor Kim Reynolds has waived state requirements for high school graduation, so the Class of 2020 isn’t in limbo due to COVID-19 closures. The governor’s order will let students graduate this spring even if they have not completed all their credit hours.Storm Lake Community School District Superintendent Stacey Cole says teachers and counselors have been reaching out to the senior class in her district since school was closed — to keep them engaged.“This has been a reminder to me that educators are champions of hope,” Cole says, “and hope is so important when helping kids dream and become something that no one thought that they could be and that social interaction keeps that hope alive in ways that I don’t think we even recognized before.”Cole says lesson plans for the next school year have to be redone to help returning students make up for the time lost this spring, plus she’s worried about budget issues.“This is definitely on my list of things that keep me up at night,” Cole says. “…My crystal ball is pretty of cloudy right now, so it’s kind of hard to predict what’s going to happen because I would not have predicted school closures for this length of time.”Thomas Ahart, superintendent of the Des Moines Public Schools — the state’s largest district, says it will take longer than a month next fall to make up for each month that’s been lost this school year because restoring a routine will take time.“The interaction with their teachers and the interaction with their peers which is really doing almost as much as the academic learning to really develop the whole child,” Ahart says.The two superintendents made their comments this weekend on the “Iowa Press” program on Iowa PBS.
CHARLES CITY — The Floyd County Medical Center in Charles City says members of their staff have tested positive for COVID-19. Hospital administrator Rod Nordeng posted a statement on the hospital’s social media saying colleagues have tested positive for coronavirus, but not saying how many. He says they are in regular communication with local and state public health authorities and they continue to monitor the situation daily. Nordeng says public health notifies individuals who have been identified as being in contact with a known positive COVID case according to investigation guidelines. Testing is being offered to all employees.
Within weeks, four projects are expected to commence on the West Coast of Demerara (WCD) to strengthen sections of the seawall which were ruptured earlier this year.Chief River and Sea Defence Officer, Kevin Samad, informed Guyana Times of the inclusion of a fifth project in Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica). Along with the four initial projects, works will also be completed at Chapman’s Grove on the East Coast of Demerara (ECD) as part of the fifth project.Meanwhile as of this week, the contracts will be signed for the manual aspect to commence in approximately one week’s time.“Last week, we had the award of contracts so next week, we’re going to formally sign the contracts, so I would say within four weeks, we’re going to expect commencement and contractors to start preparatory works and with the materials and so. By four weeks, we should expect mobilisation of contractors at these sites,” Samad said.It was reported that three of the projects will include works at Leonora, Den Amstel and Uitvlugt and the fourth will entail restoration activities at the sluices.Recently, Samad was able to give a breakdown of the areas which are said to be Windsor Forest, La Jalousie, Blankenburg, Den Amstel and Stewartville.“This is the area at Leonora, Uitvlugt, Den Amstel that was severely affected during the spring tide that weekend when we had the overtopping. The fourth area is at Chapman’s Grove which is in Region Four on the East Coast of Demerara. There is a fifth project that deals with a series of villages. We’re doing some work around the sluices to fortify the transition with the defence sluices at Windsor Forest, La Jalousie, Blankenburg, Den Amstel and Stewartville.”With respect to other works that were done in 2018, the Chief River and Sea Defence Officer explained that the seawalls in Berbice and Essequibo were also rectified with five other projects that are currently processing at the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB).“We had projects that were awarded after the Budget 2018. We had signed a number of contracts and works are progressing on most of the sites and some have been completed. Works have been completed at Aurora and Westbury in Essequibo, Berbice, Crabwood Creek, Bushlot and at the Ruimzeigt area by the crematorium. Another five areas are awaiting the Tender Board which haven’t been awarded as yet.”Persons residing on the WCD are eagerly awaiting the works to strengthen the seawall structure as they fear another overtopping in the future. As of now, they are at risk of losing millions of dollars if this occurs.