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Governor: Students not going back

Solon to continue voluntary and required continuous learning plans while school buildings are closed

SOLON– Solon students will not return to the classroom to end the 2019-2020 school year.
The Solon Community School District (SCSD) will comply with Gov. Kim Reynolds’ and the Iowa Department of Education’s order to close for the remainder of the school year, SCSD Director of Teaching and Learning Josh Lyons said Friday.
“Students will continue to be provided learning opportunities for the remainder of the closure; required for high school courses and voluntary for pre-kindergarten through eighth grade,” Lyons wrote in an announcement.
“The Iowa Department of Education will be working with school districts to develop possible summer enrichment as well as re-entry plans for the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year,” he added.
Additional information regarding the school closure and future plans from the district will be forthcoming, the release noted.
“While I would like nothing more than to open up our schools and classrooms in May, we have to prioritize the health and safety of Iowans,” Reynolds said while making the announcement during an April 17 press conference. “With our students at home, we must rely on continuous learning plans that are in place and prepare school districts for ‘Return to Learn’ in the fall. I greatly appreciate the work of (Iowa Department of Education) Director Ann Lebo and all our school administrators, educators, and staff during this unprecedented time.”
All spring sports activities have been canceled.
The decision was based on recommendations from the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) to ensure the health and safety of Iowa students, teachers, school administrators and other school staff, Reynolds said.
“Iowa teachers should be commended for how quickly they have transitioned from the classroom to online and distance learning,” said Lebo. “Our schools have really stepped up to the plate and worked hard to develop and implement continuous learning solutions in only a matter of weeks. We appreciate everything schools and families are doing to support children’s well-being while continuing to support their academic progress while school buildings are closed.”
The state also announced it will waive the requirement that schools start no earlier than Aug. 23, allowing schools to make local decisions about the length of their 2020-2021 academic year.
On the same day (April 17), the IDPH reported 191 additional positive cases and four deaths, bringing the state’s total to 2,332 positive cases and 64 casualties.
According to IDPH, 183 Iowans were hospitalized and 1,007 Iowans have recovered.
Johnson County continued to have the third-highest number of cases in the state with 246, behind Linn County (304) and Polk County (277).
The State of Iowa released an updated dashboard on coronavirus.iowa.gov, updated daily to include comprehensive tracking of COVID-19 in Iowa. The new dashboard includes cases, deaths and tests conducted in each county. The state is now providing demographic information not previously provided as well as Iowa’s epidemiological curve.
The governor previously ordered schools to close through April 30. All of Iowa’s 327 public school districts, as well as 179 nonpublic schools, currently offer continuous learning through one of the approved continuous learning options. Continuous learning encompasses a variety of approaches used to extend learning beyond brick and mortar buildings– online learning, e-learning, distance learning, including paper packets and virtual learning.
An announcement on summer sports activities and when other school-sponsored activities can resume will be made by June 1.