Clarke High School COVID-19 Response: grading, graduation, Chromebooks, etc.

Dear Clarke Community School Students and Families,

We hope you are doing well and adjusting to the unique times we are all experiencing. We want to thank you for your patience and perseverance as we work to ensure students remain engaged in learning while finding balance for families during these difficult times. We recognize the challenges that come with such a disruption to normal family routines. Please know that as a school district, we are still working hard to ensure students and staff are supported, and we’re planning as much as possible considering the uncertain conditions. When we left our schools for Spring break, none of us expected that we would not return for the remainder of the school year. As COVID 19 has progressed, our national and state leaders have provided guidance and expectations for our schools and communities that we respect and are presently following. Please know that we are working on plans for the following:

  • Seniors (if you ordered cap and gown can come get it from the Central Office starting the week of the April 27th) If you have not ordered and still want these or other graduation items, contact Jostens rep, Tim Robson. His contact information is as follows:
  • The senior class of 2020 will be the first class in the history of Clarke High School to have a virtual graduation.  The time and date have not changed. The venue will now be online streaming. Please keep close attention to your text, regular mail, email, and the Clarke App. for updates to graduation.
  • We are currently examining all protocols for ongoing monitoring of safety plans as we end this school year and begin to think about the start of next year. We will continue to communicate through social media platforms and encourage you to remain engaged with your children’s teachers and school for ongoing updates. We look forward to working with you as we all strive to embrace the challenges as opportunities for partnership and growth as we move forward.

Two FAQs we would like to address.              

Question: Graduation, what about graduating seniors who failed a class third quarter, or seniors who want to improve their grade? Will they need to retake courses or attend summer school? What is the answer for these students?

Answer:  Directly from the Iowa Department of Education: If districts and nonpublic schools have graduating seniors who are unable to complete their classes for the year due to school closure, illness, family illness, or related COVID-19 issues, the Department suggests the district use local discretion to determine whether the students have completed sufficient course content to consider the units complete. We recommend that districts provide as much latitude for students to graduation time as possible.

Question: If my school provides continuous learning opportunities through the Required Educational Services option can they grade courses on a pass/fail basis? I don’t want my high school student to miss out on scholarship opportunities.

Answer. It is a local decision to determine how to grade and offer credit. This has always been the case and is not changed by the COVID-19 response.


So how do (Answers 2 and 4 affect your student’s 2nd semester grade? 

We have made the decision to go with your student’s third quarter grade as the 2nd semester grade. Note: The following directive has already been given to the HS teachers.

  1. Any late work, missing work, or reworked assignments that are turned in by May 13th for Seniors and May 15th for 9-11th grades can receive up to full credit, if the work is done correctly.
  2. Test taking and quizzes may be taken during a Zoom meeting with the teacher, or maybe an open note test at home. We will work out something that works for you if at all possible.  Another opportunity for tests or quizzes is the teacher email the test, etc. to Mr. Stephens; he will print off test and then he will proctor the student’s test in the HS conference room. Mr. Stephens will make himself available as often as needed to make this happen.
  3. As stated above all scores will need to be entered no later than 13 May for seniors and 15 May for 9-11 students. This will be the last day for students to turn in anything that is late that they had assigned or did poorly on prior to Covid19 break.
  4. No new work for grading will be assigned and this process has nothing to do with the current elearning or packets that you might are currently receiving at home.
  5. Because we know a lot of our stakeholders don’t have internet access for texting or access to the Clarke App, a letter with this same information will be followed up tomorrow. 
  6. We want to provide our students with the best chance to succeed at the level we know they are capable of doing. 
  7. If a student is satisfied with their current third quarter grade and chooses not to do anything to improve his or her grade, that is his or her prerogative, and that is the grade he or she will receive for 2nd semester grade.
  8. The student may start this process tomorrow April 25th this Friday.
  9. If a student is unsure of his or her second quarter grade, he or she can check the Campus Portal, if he or she still can’t do that., student can contact the teachers, and the teachers will have the 2nd quarter grade.
  10. Chromebooks: We have decided that 9-11 graders may keep their chromebooks at home for the summer and the seniors will have a last turn in date of May 26th.  On May 26th if seniors have not already turned in Chromebook, the senior may s may enter through the MS entrance 31 from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM.\
    1. If the student is leaving the district-the student will of course need to turn it in
    2. If a student’s Chromebook isn’t working properly, bring it to Sheila Overton, IT office, and she will get it fixed and or get a replacement until it is fixed—of course call in advance @ 641-342-6505 ext 546 to let her know he or she is coming. 
    3. Still, if you are a parent or guardian who does not want your student to keep it over the summer, please contact Sheila Overton at the above number and set up a time and date for turn in. 
  11. We are working on a virtual graduation ceremony through Jostens. Mr. Stephens, Mrs. Scott, Mrs. Mary Murphy, Mrs. Reece, and Mr.  Lampe have been researching the webinar of the product from Jostens. It looks really good. We will be adding our own Clarke flavor to the mix.
  12. A personal note from your principal. The students will tell you that I am not the most sappy, emotional kind of principal, but please know that you all are an integral part of my life. I love my community, my school, and all the joy they bring me. Most of all, I cherish the wonderful people of this great community. #CLARKEPRIDE #ONETRIBE #GOINDIANS

Note: We are sure that this email might not address all of your questions, if you have something that you are unsure of and are in need clarification, call Mr. Stephens 342-6505 ext 500. I will try and return you call within 24 hours. (note the phone is not checked on the weekends). Still, one can always email as well at

Missing someone gets easier every day because even though it's one day further from the last time you saw each other, it's one day closer to the next time you will. - Author Unknown

Keep safe and know that together we can get through anything!


Mr. Shane Stephens

Clarke Community High School