Des Moines schools OK return to classes, delays key decision

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A sign outside of Greenwood Elementary School promotes mask-wearing on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. A dispute between Iowa’s governor and the state’s largest school district could mean summer school for students and crippling bills for the school system. Des Moines school officials have repeatedly refused to abide by Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds’ order that districts hold at least half their classes in-person, saying it’s not safe. (AP Photo/Scott McFetridge)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Des Moines School board has set a date for returning to school but put off establishing a coronavirus infection rate that would force the district to revert to online-only instruction.

Des Moines schools have been the state’s only school system that has refused Gov. Kim Reynolds’ order in which they are supposed to hold at least half their classes in-person unless they have received a waiver because of high infection rates.

The board voted to gradually start a hybrid plan of in-person and online courses, starting with pre-kindergarten on Oct. 12.

However, the board will hear from public health experts on metrics that would trigger a return to online-only classes. The board will meet Sept. 28 to set such metrics.

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