Iowa governor Kim Reynolds says schools need to return to the classroom this fall.
She outlined her plan to do that in a proclamation today. Reynolds says the state legislature’s goal is to have more than half of the school year take place in the classroom.
“A little surprised. This whole entire time we felt like it was a local decision,” Joe Stutting, North Scott superintendent said.
Stutting says the district will be ready for in-person learning this fall. “We’ve been removing unnecessary or non-essential furniture,” Stutting said. “And replacing it with desks so that we can spread out as much as we possibly can.”
Stutting says the North Scott school district will be requiring, but also providing face masks for their students.
“In the past Americans have been real tough about ‘well you know I don’t feel well but I’m still going to work, and I’m still going to school,'” Stutting said. “We can’t do that in this day and age.”
Parents in Iowa can choose to have their students take a fully online curriculum. Maquoketa schools sent out a survey last month to gauge how many families would likely be doing just that.
“Of the folks that did fill it out,” Chris Hoover, Maquoketa school superintendent said. “There were probably around a hundred families that said that even with safety measures in place they weren’t comfortable sending their students back.”
But if schools have to move to a hybrid schedule, Chris Hoover says Maquoketa will be switching to a four day schedule.
“We felt that if we went to a hybrid situation, that our teachers will have the time to prepare for those online lessons,” Hoover said. “If you think that you can have teachers teaching in the classroom and online simultaneously, and not give them any time to prepare for that, you’re crazy because something’s going to give.”
The governor’s proclamation also relaxes restrictions on how many days in a row substitute teachers can be in the classroom.