More than 500 school districts and nonpublic schools submit plans for continuous learning
DES MOINES - The Iowa Department of Education today announced that 506 school districts and accredited nonpublic schools submitted plans to offer continuous learning opportunities for students this week while their brick-and-mortar buildings are closed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Continuous learning encompasses a variety of approaches used to extend learning beyond brick and mortar district buildings — online learning, e-learning, distance learning, including paper packets, and virtual learning.
“We want to commend our schools for their hard work in developing and now implementing continuous learning solutions that best meet the needs of their students, families and communities,” said Iowa Department of Education Director Ann Lebo. “These continuous learning options provide schools with much needed flexibility while also ensuring engaging, high-quality experiences for students. We are committed to supporting our schools as they maximize learning for their students during these challenging times.”
All 327 public school districts in the state submitted plans. Of those, 285 will offer voluntary educational enrichment opportunities, six will provide required educational services and 36 will offer a combination of the two. Of 179 accredited nonpublic schools that submitted plans, 73 will offer voluntary educational enrichment opportunities, 80 will provide required educational services and 26 will offer a combination of the two.
For schools that provide required educational services, attendance will be taken and lessons will be graded. Under the voluntary educational enrichment opportunities option, student participation is voluntary and no grade or credit is given. Districts and accredited nonpublic schools that decide not to offer continuous learning must make up missed days of instruction.
The Iowa Legislature waived the requirement for instructional hours and days through April 12 by passing SF2408. This legislation also gave Gov. Kim Reynolds the authority to waive requirements for instructional time past April 12 if necessary. The Governor has exercised her discretion to waive the instructional time requirement by waiving it if a school participates in one of the two continuous learning options — voluntary or required, or a combination of the two.
Friday, April 10, was the last day for schools to report which method of continuous learning they will use from April 13 through April 30.
For more information, visit the Iowa Department of Education’s COVID-19 Guidance and Information web page.