Yesterday, the Iowa Department of Education (DE) released its Reopening Guidance for Schools. We have been evaluating this guidance to determine its alignment with the Return-to-Learn work which is actively taking place in the District. Our research and planning over the last few months lead us to believe that additional safety mitigation efforts above what the DE is suggesting may be necessary to safely reopen our schools. Although the DE’s guidance provides some clarity, there are still many unknowns when it comes to how school will look in the fall. We will continue to utilize the recommendations from the CDC, IDPH, and JCPH as our plans take shape.
We have been diligently working to develop Return-to-Learn plans for the 2020-21 school year. This includes gathering feedback from our families and our staff, the results of which can be found on our Return-to-Learn website. This feedback has been incredibly helpful in guiding our Return-to-Learn work.
The DE has asked school districts to submit a series of assurances by July 1, 2020. These assurances indicate our intent to have comprehensive Return-to-Learn plans in place for the fall; however, it is not required that the full plans are finalized at the time the assurances are due. We are working hard to learn and improve from our experience this spring and to develop a plan for the fall that addresses the needs of our students, staff, and families. We look forward to releasing additional information throughout the month of July that shares the details about our approach. This will include specific information around health and safety, infrastructure, academic standards, social-emotional/behavioral health, and equity.
As a reminder, all District facilities will remain closed until at least July 5, 2020. We plan to provide additional guidance on facility access next week.
The health and safety of our students and staff will remain a priority as we continue the Return-to-Learn planning process and we sincerely appreciate your patience and your trust as we determine the necessary measures to safely reopen our schools. #ICCSDtogether