Bettendorf and Pleasant Valley school districts have released their Return to Learn plans, with the hope that students will return to classrooms when school resumes Aug. 24 for local districts.
All school districts in Iowa were required to submit a Return to Learn plan to the Iowa Department of Education by July 1, outlining plans to keep students and staff safe in the wake of increasing coronavirus cases. Districts had to take technology needs and accessibility into account.
Bettendorf School District
As requested by the state, the district offered three options in its plan, depending on what COVID-19 infection rates look like by late August: on-site learning, required online learning or a combination of required online learning and on-site learning.
If students return to schools for traditional learning, the district will allow online learning for students who cannot or choose not to return physically to the classroom. There is no mention of a mask requirement for students if they return to school.
A second option is a blend of in-person attendance and online learning. Students in kindergarten through fifth grade would attend two days a week, with the remaining days using online learning. Students in Grades 6-12 would attend one day a week, with the remaining days spent using online instruction.
The third option would be strictly online learning. Student work and participation will be required and graded. Training and support will be provided to parents to assist with the remote learning model.
Pleasant Valley School District
Superintendent Brian Strusz released the district's plan, telling parents in an email that it was designed with the goal for students to physically return to classrooms Aug. 24.
"While this learning model is our goal, if the health and safety needs of students and staff cannot be met through the onsite learning model, we will look to implement a hybrid or online learning model," Strusz said, adding that the district will announce its final plan July 31.
If students return on site, they will be asked to wear face masks, along with teachers and staff. Students who are unable to wear a face mask all day will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. The district also is asking students to begin wearing face masks now to minimize the spread of infection in preparation for the start of the school year.
If a hybrid learning model of alternating days is chosen, siblings will attend on the same days. Bus transportation will be provided, but students will have assigned seating and must have their own individual seats to allow for social distancing.
In the schools, water fountains will be turned off and students may bring personal water bottles. Plastic shields are being installed in office areas, libraries and cafeteria lines, and in restrooms, hand dryers are being replaced with paper towel dispensers.
If a hybrid model of online and in-person learning is used, students will not be allowed to use hallway lockers, PE lockers or cubby spaces because of the need for social distancing. Temperature checks will not be performed on students as they enter buildings.
Parents will no longer be allowed to eat lunch with their child, and students will be prohibited from bringing birthday treats to share with classmates.
If online learning or a hybrid model is chosen, students in Grades 7-12 will be issued Chromebooks.