Extended School Closure Update
Today, Governor Kim Reynolds and the Iowa Department of Education announced that all Iowa schools will be closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
This announcement will continue to affect all Iowa City Community School District programming, including before- and after-school activities, all athletic and extracurricular practices and competitions, and all weekend events. It is our hope that we will be able to honor our 2020 senior class with a proper graduation ceremony and we will continue to explore options for making this possible.
As a district, we have been preparing for the possibility of not returning to school this year. At this time, we can share that within the Procedures for Continuous Learning as outlined by the Iowa Department of Education, we are moving from Voluntary Educational Enrichment Opportunities to Required Learning Opportunities at the high school level. Our plan at this time is to make this move beginning Monday, April 27, 2020. This applies to students at the high school level or students in high school level courses only. At the Kindergarten through 8th-grade level, we are increasing the rigor of our Voluntary Educational Enrichment Opportunities, a process that is underway at this time. We feel that this is the most appropriate action for each grade level to continue to move forward with learning from home. Both plans allow us to count the instructional time lost and students will not be required to make up the days of school that will be missed through the end of the school year.
On Monday, April 20, 2020, we will be sending detailed information to our high school students and their families outlining the next steps for the move to the Required Learning Opportunities model. We want to provide as much support as possible to allow for a smooth transition, understanding that each individual student’s situation is unique.
Staff and Student Access to Buildings:
The District is developing a plan for students and staff to retrieve items from their buildings. We recognize this is an important opportunity for many people and we are evaluating several options; however, this access will not be immediate. We will continue to follow the guidance from the State, CDC and local health officials and will not prematurely provide access to buildings for families and staff to pick up any personal items. We will communicate our plan once we can ensure an appropriate process is in place for individuals to safely collect any personal items. Keeping District buildings closed and eliminating access will support social distancing and slow the spread of COVID-19.
Building and Grounds Closures:
All District schools, buildings, playgrounds, and outdoor facilities will remain closed to the public until further notice. Per Governor Reynolds’ announcement, this will be through the end of the scheduled 2019-20 school year, at a minimum. This closure includes the cancellation of all activities and any events held at buildings or on school grounds.
The District is directing all employees to work remotely and not visit District buildings or offices unless specifically directed to do so. We are asking that all families, students, and community members also avoid visiting buildings and campuses during the extended closure. While we recognize this could create an inconvenience, the safety of our students, families, staff, and the greater community is of primary importance, and we encourage all in our community to remain at home as much as possible.
The District has been operating multiple free Grab & Go meal pick-up sites for students while schools have been closed. We are committed to continuing this service for our students at this time. We will continue to evaluate the schedule and locations, and any changes to sites will be communicated at least one week in advance of a change. Click here for the full schedule and list of meal pick-up sites.
You have all been incredible throughout this process and we are so grateful for your patience, your understanding, your flexibility, and your trust as we work through this unprecedented situation. Our hearts are heavy knowing that we will not get to welcome our students back into our schools this year, but we understand that it is our critical responsibility to take this step to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community. As we continue to say, we will get through this together. Take care and stay healthy. #ICCSDtogether