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Cedar Rapids Community School District considers delaying school start date

Published: Aug. 6, 2020 at 1:01 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The Cedar Rapids Community School District said it is considering pushing the school start date back one week to August 31, pending board approval.

The change in start date would not affect the educational choice families selected for their students by Thursday’s deadline.

The district said the week delay would also not significantly impact the school calendar that has already been established for the upcoming school year.

The school district outlined its reasoning for moving the start date with the following reasons:

  • Additional time is needed to respond to the ever-changing state guidance from the Iowa Governor, Iowa Department of Education and Iowa Department of Public Health
  • Cedar Rapids Community School District (CRCSD), as many other districts in the state, are in reactive-planning mode as our plans need to continually change with the shifts in proclamations and the state’s delayed announcements
  • The number of COVID-19 cases are rising in Linn County and helpful guidance from Linn County Public Health has revealed the heightened need to implement the safety measure of a delayed start date
  • The safety of our students and staff is our first priority
  • We are confident in our planned safety measures for students and staff; we need community support to also mitigate the spread of COVID-19
  • The results are in from the CRCSD family choices, and we need additional preparation time to react
  • 65% of families want in-person learning and that takes planning to accommodate for all the additional safety measures needed to conduct in-person learning during a pandemic
  • 35% of families have chosen one of the two virtual learning options and that requires more time for CRCSD staff to be reallocated and garner more professional learning for an online classroom
  • CRCSD staffing has altered due to resignations and time for adjustments and additional hiring is needed
  • Resignations in two work groups have increased this week: transportation and paraprofessionals
  • There is also an anticipated shortage of substitute teachers and increased hiring is being conducted for permanent building substitutes
  • The district is experiencing a back order of essential supplies
  • We have ordered safety and additional technology far in advance and some of our supplies are on backorder, with the positive anticipation that they will arrive by the extended school start date
  • There are several buildings and ground complications
  • We have some buildings and ground complications, including Jefferson High School being without electrical power for over two weeks, and this has delayed preparations

The board will meet to discuss the change on August 10.

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