Gov. Reynolds proclamation could cause changes to Return to Learn plans

Back to School

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – As summer slowly comes to an end, Siouxland’s Return to Learn plans are a top priority. Friday, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed a proclamation that may alter some school districts’ back to school plans.

That proclamation highlights state law that said in-person instruction is the presumed method of instruction for Iowa students. There are some conditions where remote learning will be allowed.

Reynolds said in-person learning is important for students’ overall well-being physically, socially, and emotionally.

“I am excited to go back to school,” said Phoenix Medina

Gov. Kim Reynolds clarified her Return to Learn plan for students in Iowa, but school will look a bit different in the fall for Phoenix Medina.

His family has decided it’s best for them to transition to homeschooling, instead of going back to Sioux City East Middle School.

“It’s the best option for our family, and he adapts to it well,” said Karen Teusink, Phoenix’s grandmother.

Teusink said online learning comes easy to Phoenix and keeps him on track, as a family member is always by his side.

“A lot of kids don’t have that advantage. What about the kids that don’t have computers? That’s hard, or people, families that have more than one child,” said Teusink.

Families that aren’t making the transition to homeschooling are learning more about what the Return to Learn plan will look like for Iowa schools.

“That over 50% of the education in core subjects should be in school if possible. Now, if we have an outbreak or there’s something that happens there is a procedure in place for them to temporarily go online, and that’s why that component is so important, and that’s why a hybrid was put in place,” said Governor Kim Reynolds.

On Thursday, Sioux City Superintendent Paul Gausman addressed how the Sioux City School District is preparing for students to come back in late August.

“It will look a little different. Social distancing rules will be in place. Cleaning will occur far more frequently. Masks will be worn in larger groups and coming in the building that sort of thing. We’re hoping that our parents can continue to give us grace and patience that they have shown us thus far. This is a different time for all of us. We know we want to get back to normal as soon as we can,” said Gausman.

For both families and school districts, there still a lot of uncertainty in their child’s education and COVID-19.

“If things get better, then there may be a chance of going back. So, it’s just depending on what’s out there. We don’t know quite yet what the future holds,” said Teusink.

As far as remote learning goes, there are conditions in place parents should be aware of when a school may move to primarily remote learning. The choices begin with the student’s parent. They can select remote learning as the best option for their family.

Other options include:

  • When the state departments of education and Public Health approve a temporary move to online learning for an entire building or district because of public health concerns.
  • When a school, in consultation with state and local public health officials, determines that individual students or classrooms must be temporarily moved to online learning.

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