State denies IC schools request to begin school year virtually


The Iowa Department of Education has denied the Iowa City Community School District’s request to start the school year virtually.

Last month Gov. Kim Reynolds put a stop to the Iowa City district’s plans to start the 2020-21 school year with students learning from home. She said she would override local school districts and require students to spend at least half of their education time in classrooms, despite concerns the move could endanger children and teachers as the number of coronavirus cases increases in the state. School districts were allowed to ask for a special waiver, but on Thursday Iowa City’s waiver was denied by the state.

Interim Superintendent Matt Degner sent an email to district families on Thursday saying the school board will consider its next move at its Tuesday meeting. Degner hopes to have an update for families soon.

The school board voted earlier this week to push back the start of the school year from August 24th to September 8th. A hybrid model being considered would have some students inside classrooms on Mondays and Tuesdays and others on Thursdays and Fridays. The two groups would alternate Wednesdays. The two groups were learn virtually on the days they aren’t inside the classroom.