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Return-to-Learn Update (7/2/20)

Our planning and preparation for safely returning to school in the fall continue across the District.  This week, we shared an update with the Board that included the Return-to-Learn recommendations that have been made to date.  This update represents months of work by multiple teams, all focused on preparing for the reopening of our schools for the 2020-21 school year.  The Return-to-Learn teams, as well as updates and information on the Return-to-Learn planning process, are available at www.IowaCitySchools.org/ReturnToLearn

The presentation to the Board detailed the three potential learning models for the fall: Continuous Learning (full-time remote/at-home instruction), On-Site Delivery, or a Hybrid approach.  We are currently developing plans for all three scenarios.  In diving deeper into the potential of a Hybrid model, we outlined four Hybrid scenarios for discussion with the Board.  These options are detailed in the Return-to-Learn recommendations, and a brief overview of each is included here:

  • Hybrid Model 1:  On-site learning proceeds in a traditional format with health and safety considerations implemented as much as possible.  There may be 10% or more of our families who are not comfortable sending their children to school, and the District is committed to offering a complete Required Continuous Learning (at-home) option.
  • Hybrid Model 2:  The Required Continuous Learning (at-home) plan proceeds in the modified schedule, but for some students, online learning will not meet their needs.  Consider bringing the most structurally disadvantaged students on-site, (estimated 25%) to help maneuver through a Required Continuous Learning (at-home) learning plan.  Assist with access to synchronous learning sessions online, monitor, motivate, and support students in completing asynchronous learning expectations, offer additional services such as SDI or ELL lessons in person.
  • Hybrid Model 3:  In order to reduce class sizes across the District and provide more social distancing, multiple A/B models were discussed.  A PreK-12 A/B approach as well as an approach with PK-4th grade students on-site daily and students in grades 5-12 on an A/B rotation. The option to participate in the Required Continuous Learning (at-home) model would still be available.

We plan to provide an in-depth update to the Board on July 7, 2020, that further details these three Hybrid scenarios, with specific considerations around academic standards, health, and safety.

We would like to emphasize that the decisions and recommendations that have been made will continue to be evaluated and will possibly change due to the constantly evolving COVID-19 situation.  However, we will continue to provide transparent and timely updates to families and staff to ensure the necessary information is available to prepare for the start of school on August 24, 2020.

Please be assured that the safety and well-being of our students and staff are always at the forefront of our planning. We look forward to safely welcoming our students and staff back into our buildings and we are thankful for the trust and support we have received throughout this entire process.  Take care.  #ICCSDtogether