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State says school districts will receive a response on moving fully online within 48 hours

Published: Aug. 3, 2020 at 12:29 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - School districts will receive a response on their application to move online within 48 hours, not including weekends, according to documents I9 received through a public records request.

In a weekly webinar with pre-K-through-12 school administrators, the Iowa Department of Education didn’t say it would necessarily approve or disapprove those applications within that same time period. However, a school district would receive a response within the 48 hour window period.

The department said it would require schools to make up the instructional time if a district canceled in-person classes and the application to move online was denied.

Schools will also have to provide the state with a list of information, including how it will accommodate:

  • Students with no internet access
  • Students who require health care or mental health services
  • Students with disabilities
  • Meals for students who needed it

The department, in the webinar, said the information needed from districts was already required in districts’ Return to Learn programs.

Gov. Kim Reynolds announced on Thursday a school district’s county would need to see a 15% positivity rate over a 14-day testing period to move more than 50% of classes online. The department said it is looking into creating an online map where schools can see the 14-day testing average.

The department will also allow staff, who were in close contact with someone who tested positive, return to work as long as they remain asymptomatic.

It will also suggest individuals previously diagnosed with COVID-19 will not need to quarantine if they were in close contact with another person who tested positive.

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