Bettendorf remote learning waiver granted

Local News

Update: The Bettendorf School District has received notification that its waiver to move to remote learning was approved, a news release says.

Staff have been working to prepare and finalize plans for the transition. For students participating in the hybrid learning model, nothing will change this week. 

The transition to 100% remote learning will go into effect on Monday. 

“As I outlined in the parent communication on Tuesday, November 17th, additional details regarding remote learning schedules, student work and participation, school attendance, and meal services will be sent no later than Friday morning of this week,” said Dr. Michelle Morse, superintendent of schools. “

“Thank you for your continued support and patience as we navigate these challenging times.

Earlier: The Bettendorf Community School District has applied for a waiver to move to remote learning, citing the high Scott County positivity rate and an inability to fill staff vacancies caused by increased absenteeism in the district.

Here is the text of a letter sent to parents on Tuesday:

Dear BCSD Parents/Guardians:

As I indicated to you last week, the District has been monitoring the COVID positivity rate in Scott County and the impact it is having on the operation of our schools. While the county positivity rate (26.6%) has surpassed the substantial uncontrolled zone, District staff absenteeism has also risen. As a result, it has become increasingly difficult to fill the staff vacancies. At last night’s Board of Education meeting, the Board voted to pursue the Iowa Department of Education’s waiver application to move the BCSD to the remote learning model.

The waiver application was sent today to the Iowa Department of Education. The county positivity rate combined with the staff absentee rate will likely result in the waiver being approved. While this is not yet definitive, I want to apprise you of this matter because this will impact you and your family, and the lead time will be necessary for planning and preparing your family arrangements. If the waiver is approved, the BCSD will move forward with the remote learning model effective Monday, November 23, through Wednesday, December 9. The District FAQ (pg.16) addresses the remote learning model which will require students to join their classes virtually from home on the designated school days. The Thanksgiving Break scheduled for Wednesday, November 25 – Friday, November 27 remains in effect, and school will not be held on those dates.

Please note, transitioning to remote learning will not impact students who are currently enrolled in the BCSD 100% online learning model. That learning model will proceed in the same manner. If the waiver is approved, District parents/guardians will receive the remote learning schedule for all Bettendorf elementary schools, Bettendorf Middle School and Bettendorf High School later this week. Additional information will be shared with families regarding student work and participation, school attendance, and meal services, which will continue to be offered.

Moving to the remote learning model will be an adjustment for everyone. Our top priority is the health and well-being of your children and our staff. Our teachers, administrators, and support staff will pivot to remote learning, and we remain committed to delivering high-quality instruction for all students. We are grateful to be able to accomplish this while protecting the health and safety of our community.

Thank you for your continued support and understanding. On behalf of our Board of Education and our district, I want to thank everyone for the support and commitment you have shown to keep all our students safe. As our community numbers continue to increase, please remember to stay safe and take precautions outside of school when interacting with family members and friends. Masking up, both in school and in social settings outside of school, socially distancing, washing our hands, and staying home when sick will help us all get through this challenging time and assist in bringing our positivity numbers down.

Warm regards,

Dr. Michelle Morse
Superintendent of Schools

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