Today, the Governor announced that schools in Iowa are recommended to be closed until April 30. There is an expectation to provide instruction from April 13-30 through distance learning or make-up the days once schools are permitted to meet traditionally.
On March 27, the Department of Education released new guidance on distance learning options in the state of Iowa. This guidance aligns more closely with e-learning delivery options that students and teachers use in Minnesota or Illinois. The school district has been developing plans to best address its students since this guidance was published.
Starting April 13, the school district will be requiring participation, assigning work, and grading student work. The district will be offering course work through Google Classroom, a format that many teachers and students already use. If households have internet, but not a device for school work, the district will have a process to check a device out. For households that do not have internet, options of packet work, one on one video chats, and other means to assess learning will be used. Your child’s teacher should be in contact about what delivery model will be used in your household’s situation.
The role of the parent in this model is not to be the teacher, but support the process. Scheduling time blocks to be engaged in academics with teachers are critical in this setting. Monitoring your child’s participation and effort is important. Also, having excellent communication with school personnel keeps us all on the same page.
I strongly feel that we need to bring closure to this school year whether its in a school building or in a distance learning opportunity. Although the challenges of the past month have been nothing that we’ve seen in our lifetimes, it provides us with an opportunity to overcome barriers and test our grit. Our approach will prioritize safety and health while engaging students.
Next week, you will receive more detailed communication from the building principals and teachers about the details of this delivery model.
Let’s work together to offer the best for our students!