School board confirms previous plan despite Gov. Reynolds’ proclamation

The ICCSD will have to seek approval from the Iowa Department of Public Health.

Kailey Gee and Maggie Huang

The Iowa City Community School District school board reaffirmed they will push for their original plan for schools during the first trimester. 

The school board voted on July 14 to start the school year with no in-person classes, and eventually transition into a hybrid learning model. Possible transition dates are still being worked out. 

“The ability to need to move very quickly or swiftly in this situation is somewhat seeming like a cumbersome process right now and so we’ll need to continue to work with the Department of Education there to clarify that,” said ICCSD Interim Superintendent Matt Degner.

On June 17, Gov. Kim Reynolds released a proclamation stating that at least 50% of a school’s core instruction should be done in person. If districts were interested in temporary online instruction, they would have to seek approval from the Iowa Department of Public Health and the Department of Education before continuing. 

The ability to need to move very quickly or swiftly in this situation is somewhat seeming like a cumbersome process right now.”

— Matt Degner, ICCSD Interim Superintendent

The district’s current plan, even once returning with hybrid classes, falls below the 50% mark. In preparation, the school board has created a possible hybrid alternative that would reach this requirement. In the alternative, entitled the AA/BB model, there would be a reduced number of students in the building yet people present in the building five days a week.

“Nothing has changed between last Tuesday and today that would make us feel safer reopening schools,” said School Board President Shawn Eyestone.

There are currently no plans for students in 100% off-site learning to transition into in-person learning. Due to the uncertainty, some courses may not be offered in the online program and all classes offered will not be building dependent. If more families choose to opt into the online system, more staff and resources will be made available. 

Families will have the opportunity to choose the type of learning they intend for their children. This will be available through the e-registration in PowerSchool starting on July 27.