Iowa schools required to offer 100% in-person learning

The new law doesn’t force schools to remove hybrid models, but due to a lack of resources, the ICCSD is getting rid of the hybrid model and changing it to 100% in-person.

Kailey Gee, Print Co-Editor-In-Chief

Iowa legislature passed a bill that would require all schools in the state to offer 100% in-person learning, and Governor Kim Reynolds has signed it into law as of 11 a.m on Jan. 29. This means that the ICCSD’s hybrid learning model will transition to meeting five full days a week.

Students enrolled in this learning model will have at least five days to decide whether they will continue with the in-person model or switch to fully online learning, which will still be offered. Schools will be forced to begin full-time in-person learning by Monday, Feb. 15 at the latest.

If schools do not offer a fully in-person option, they will not be able to count instructional hours until they comply with the updated law, which will result in added days to the end of the school year. The decision has raised concerns, especially among students enrolled in the hybrid model.

“I understand the need and desire to go back to regular life and that online learning is not ideal for most children, but you can’t defund the schools and then ask them to put students and staff at risk. Teachers don’t get paid enough to put their life on the line, custodians don’t get paid enough to put their life on the line, and lunch workers don’t get paid enough to put their life on the line,” said Elise Seery ’21. “The government is supposed to protect us and they have failed to do so, the Iowa death toll is a representation of that.”

Iowa faculty and staff are next in line for the vaccine, but it may take several weeks to months to vaccinate the approximately 2,500 ICCSD employees. Vaccines for educators, who are in distribution Tier 1, Phase 1B, will begin Feb. 1. The ICCSD is crafting a tiered distribution for staff based on how often staff are in contact with students in-person as well as age and underlying health conditions.