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Return-to-Learn Update (7/22/20)

Our Return-to-Learn planning and preparations continued this week with a Special Board Meeting last night to discuss our next steps.  As we shared last week, the decision was made to begin the school year in an off-site remote learning environment, which was followed by the Governor’s announcement that school districts must begin the school year with at least 50% of learning taking place in-person. While our plan to begin the year off-site does not align with the Governor’s announcement, we stand by our decision and continue to feel this is the safest learning model for our students and staff.  Due to this, we will request a waiver from the Iowa Department of Education to begin the year in an off-site learning model.  We are currently seeking guidance on the waiver requirements and will keep our families and staff updated on this process.

As we continue to evaluate and develop the health and safety protocols for the next school year, it is imperative that we have the flexibility to decide when to close our district and schools due to COVID-19 risks. The recent guidance from the State appears to create overly restrictive measures for school districts to be able to do this based on local conditions.  This is another area for which we are seeking additional information.

While we wait on the determination of our waiver application, we will continue to refine our AA/BB hybrid model to meet the 50% threshold for on-site learning, which can be found within our continuum of learning models.  At this time, no local decisions have been made about fall activities or athletics.

We are planning to engage our parents and staff about their plans for returning in the fall. The staff intention form will be sent on Thursday as the feedback received will be critical to finalize our staffing.  We will be collecting this information from families through the registration process, which will open next week.  Parents will be notified when they can register their children and provided instructions on how to do so.

We will continue to provide updates as information becomes available.  As always, thank you for your patience and your support.  Take care.  #ICCSDtogether