School, spring sports cancelled
Fri, 04/17/2020 - 12:53pm admin
—Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds will not reopen schools
‘I regret to say Iowa schools will not reopen for this school year.’ — Gov. Kim Reynolds
DES MOINES - During her Friday, April 17 press conference, Governor Kim Reynolds said the 327 public and 179 non-public schools will not reopen for the 2019-2020 school year.
She said, “One of the first significant mitigation steps we took (regarding COVID-19) to slow the virus was recommending the closure of schools on March 15. Then on April 2, schools were closed until April 30, and school districts were required to inform the state on their intent to provide our students continuing learning opportunities. At that time, I said I would assess the situation two weeks out from the April 30 date and provide further guidance on reopening.
“Believe me. I would like nothing more than to stand before you and announce Iowa will be open for school in May. But as we look at what the data is telling us now, I can’t tell you with certainty, based on the Department of Public Health that early May will be the right time for students, teachers and staff to gather again in their classrooms.
“Therefore, I regret to say Iowa schools will not reopen for this school year.”
School districts will still be required to provide continuous learning opportunities until the end of the shool year.
Department of Education Director Dr. Ann Lebo, “Closing schools to the end of the year is not an easy decision . . . But we know this decision is necessary to ensure the health and safety of those we serve.”
This includes the cancellation of spring sports seasons adding to the many activities already lost.
She noted the state will provide more guidance by June 1 for summer sports.
The governor and the Iowa Department of Education announced the state of Iowa will:
• Waive instructional time requirements for the remainder of the 2019-2020 regularly scheduled academic year for schools that continue to provide continuous learning through one of two approved options, voluntary educational enrichment opportunities, required educational services, or a combination of the two.
• Require schools to submit a Return to Learn Plan to the Iowa Department of Education by July 1 outlining ways they will address disruptions to learning as a result of COVID-19. This could include summer school, enrichment activities or other opportunities to address the needs of learners.
• Waive the requirement that schools start no earlier than Aug. 23, allowing school districts and nonpublic schools to make local decisions about the length of their 2020-2021 academic year.