COVID-19 Updated Guidance 

The CDC and Iowa HHS have updated the recommendations for persons diagnosed with Covid-19.  Due to the Covid-19 vaccine and boosters widely available the guidelines have become less restrictive. Iowa HHS released an updated version of Childhood Illnesses and Exclusion Criteria for Education and Child Care Settings.   It now lists Influenza, COVID-19 and RSV under a new category entitled Respiratory Illness. The CDC also updated their Respiratory Virus Guidance.  

Children with respiratory illness, including Covid, are to remain home until they are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications (Tylenol or Ibuprofen) AND other symptoms are mild and improving. It is no longer required to isolate for 5 days before returning.    

Please contact your school nurse if you have questions or concerns about illness and when your student may return to school.  Please see the COVID-19 fact sheet.

Learn more: Iowa Health and Human Services COVID-19 General Public Fact Sheet

Can students return with a cough? Symptoms need to be mild and improving. A cough may linger for quite a while, making it one of the last symptoms to resolve, but it should be improving before return.

Fever is gone but my student still feels very unwell – when can they return? Fever is only one part of the guidance; all other symptoms need to be mild or improving. Please keep your student home until they are feeling better, and symptoms are improving.

What about masking? The updated guidance from Iowa HHS does not require masking for the general public. However, it is a personal choice. A mask should not be used as a substitute for staying home when ill. Some individuals and healthcare settings may continue to use masking as a tool to reduce personal exposure and spread of respiratory illness during high transmission periods.


All persons who are experiencing an illness should stay home while they are ill, even if they test negative for COVID-19 or receive an alternative diagnosis. If you are ill,  please stay home.

District ESSER III Plan

On March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act was signed into law. The ARP Act authorized a third round of emergency coronavirus relief to schools across the country through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund – also known as ESSER III. The ESSER III Fund allocates nearly $123 billion to states and school districts to help safely reopen schools pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, sustain the safe operation of schools, and address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on students. 

The Marshalltown Community School District received $8.78 million dollars in ESSER III funds. Of that, 20% ($1.76 million) is reserved to address learning loss as a result of COVID, leaving $7.02 million that can be used for other purposes. While broad in scope, the primary directive is to utilize the funds in a way that can be connected to our response now or for future pandemics.

To best determine how funds should be allocated, district leadership has met regularly dating back to March 2021. During these discussions, we have allocated funds to ensure we are doing what is best for students and helping them get caught up with their learning. Furthermore, allocations have been shared and discussed with teacher leadership as well as during school board meetings. 

Pandemic Funding Summary (PDF) (updated October 2022)
ESSER funding overview presentation (PDF) (August 2021)