2020 summer recap

Despite being in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the summer remained eventful in Iowa City. In case you need a refresher on what went on, look no further than this summer news recap.

May 31: Celebrating Graduates

Although the 2020 school year came to an unprecedented end, graduating students found alternative ways to celebrate together. Two student car parades were held in Iowa City and Coralville, respectively. Seniors drove decorated cars on designated routes, cheered on by families and community members.

June: Protests

Beginning in June and continuing through to the school year, the Iowa Freedom Riders have organized several Black Lives Matter protests in downtown Iowa City. Several West High students participated in these protests. To read more about how activism in the BLM movement played a role during the summer, flip to page 18.

The Iowa City City Council speaks at an IFR protest at the Pentacrest. (Caroline Barker)

June-July: Baseball & Softball

During a press conference on May 20, Gov. Kim Reynolds permitted a summer sports season with additional guidelines to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The Trojans (7-8) fell to Linn-Mar in substate quarterfinals 2-5, and the Women of Troy (8-15) lost to City High in regional semifinals 2-9.

The baseball team celebrates during a summer game. (Tess Degrazia)

Aug. 4: School delayed

In an Aug. 4 meeting, the ICCSD School Board unanimously voted to delay the start of the 2020-21 school year until Sept. 8. The decision gave teachers more time to prepare curriculum and provided the district with the opportunity to observe coronavirus rates at the University of Iowa.

Aug. 10: Derecho

An unexpected storm devastated Iowa Aug. 10. With hurricane-like winds upwards of 140 mph, the storm inflicted over $82.7 million in property damage, destroying 10 million acres of the state’s corn and soybean crops. Thousands of Iowans did not have electricity or WiFi for weeks in the aftermath.

Post-storm damage at orchestra director Jon Welch’s home in Cedar Rapids.

Aug. 18: Lawsuit

During their Aug. 18 meeting, the ICCSD School Board joined the Iowa State Education Association’s lawsuit against Gov. Kim Reynolds’ proclamation, which stated at least 50 percent of school instruction should be in-person. Although they were denied local control over school reopenings in the case ruling, the ICCSD was granted two weeks of fully online schooling with a rolling 14-day positivity rate of over 20 percent.

Sept. 4: Football

Following their 27-0 win against Liberty in the season opener Aug. 28, the Trojans faced the Little Hawks in the 52nd annual Battle for the Boot Sept. 4. West defeated City 56-20 with standout performances from Grahm Goering ’21 and Marcus Morgan ’21. For the fourth consecutive year, the Boot will remain on the west side of town.

Liam Becher ’22 and the varsity football team celebrate their win at the Battle of the Boot Sept. 4. West defeated City 56-20. (Owen Aanestad)

Sept. 8: Fully online

After a two-week delay to the start of the school year, students began classes Sept. 8 via Zoom. West students who opted for the online model found themselves among City, Liberty and Tate classmates and teachers. To learn how students and teachers are dealing with this adjustment, turn to page 8.

Sept. 28: Hybrid begins

With COVID-19 positivity rates dropping, the ICCSD transitioned to hybrid learning beginning Sept. 28. Those registered for the hybrid model began in-person classes with alternating A and B days. Extracurricular activities and sports practices resumed Sept. 26, following an 18-day suspension during online instruction.

Biology students study during class, socially distanced. Hybrid learning began Sept. 28. (Camille Gretter)