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Iowa City school board votes to start school year with online only learning

Published: Jul. 14, 2020 at 8:24 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - A major school district in eastern Iowa has elected to begin the 2020-2021 school year with online learning.

The Iowa City Community School District board voted unanimously to approve a motion that would begin the year with an online learning model. The district had been considering online-only, different hybrid models, or in-person learning as possibilities.

Courses in the online program would be delivered through the districts Seesaw and Canvas online applications. Students will be offered grab and go meals for breakfast and lunch, according to the district’s Return to Learn plans.

Students with certain needs, such as English Language Learners, would be permitted to be brought on-site for direct support in accessing the online learning program.

Board members also voted to approve a special resolution on budget needs, authorizing up to $500,00 for the superintendent to spend on “health, safety, and security needs.” The district also has access of $1,600,395 in federal funding from the CARES Act and Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund.

Budget projections for pandemic and other related expenses show the district could spend up to $40,000 each on hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes, $7,500 on face shields, $50,000 on disposable masks, $10,000 on gloves, $23,325 on protective shields in common areas, and $15,000 on thermometers. Another $15,000 is projected to be spent on signage to promote proper procedures for limiting COVID-19 spread in buildings and on playgrounds.

CARES Act funding will largely be spent on learning materials like workbooks and other technology investments. Projections include a $765,000 line item for 1-to-1 student laptop purchases.

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