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Iowa won’t allow long term plans to move schools online and hasn’t created guidance yet to move online

FILE - In this July 7, 2020 file photo, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks during a news conference in Urbandale, Iowa.
FILE - In this July 7, 2020 file photo, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks during a news conference in Urbandale, Iowa.(Charlie Neibergall | AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)
Published: Jul. 30, 2020 at 9:52 AM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - According to documents reviewed by I9, the state hasn’t created the guidance for a waiver needed by school districts to perform online learning more than 50 percent of the time. The documents, from the State Department of Education, said it is assumed the Iowa Department of Public Health will not approve long term plans for a district to provide instruction primarily through remote learning.

Schools will also be evaluated over a period of two weeks to be in compliance with the governor’s original proclamation, which said in-person learning must occur more than 50 percent of the time.

August 24 is the first day of school for the Cedar Rapids Community School District.

The Iowa City School District, who originally planned on doing all classes online before the Governor’s proclamation two weeks ago, said on Tuesday it’s considering starting after Labor Day.

The school district said it also plans on trying to receive a waiver to allow all classes to move online.

However, documents received by I9 said, “it is not anticipated that the department will approve long-term plans for districts to provide instruction primarily through remote learning given the possibility of changing future public health conditions.”

The documents giving more guidance to school districts about the Governor’s earlier proclamation said schools are only required to offer accommodations for remote or online learning if a child, another resident of the child’s residence, or one of the child’s regular caretakers has a significant health condition that increases their risk of COVID-19.

The child’s parent or guardian must provide written verification from a licensed healthcare provider, according to documents.

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