SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – Following a recommendation by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, Iowa schools across Siouxland are closing amid the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, and that includes Sioux City Community Schools.
Superintendent Dr. Paul Gausman announced that schools will be closed for at least four weeks after the request from the governor. That unexpected announcement came around 9 o’clock Sunday night after an update from Reynolds.
“With the governor, I trust that she had a very good reason why she changed her position from Friday to Sunday. We certainly trust her. We trust the Department of Education. And with that change of recommendation being so significant and on that time on Sunday evening, we really felt it best to just to trust that recommendation and make the decision to close the schools,” Gausman said.
Gausman said it’s possible the closure could last longer, but that’s to be determined. As for now, the school is working with the state to get certified to distribute meals for kids who will be missing out on their primary food source during this four-week break. School officials will be setting up food sites where people can pick up food each day.
“And of course we’ll pick those building sites where the greatest need exists. We will set up a system where bags of food will be available to be picked up. We’re aren’t going to have direct human-to-human contact, as apart of that we’re not going to allow anyone to stay there and eat the food,” he said.
As for all the school days, the kids are missing, districts are currently being given a wavier through April 12. Beyond that, hours could be tacked on at the end of the school year. Summer school is another option if needed according to Reynolds. Future exceptions also could be made for this school year because of the outbreak.