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Council Bluffs school board approves return to learn plan

Posted at 10:26 PM, Jul 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-28 23:33:12-04

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa — Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds says schools must conduct at least half of their learning in person, so now school districts like Council Bluffs Community Schools are making decisions.

Tuesday, the school board approved the plans they'll use for the year. As of now the district is moving forward with a hybrid plan.

Shari Anderson is a math teacher at Kirn Middle School who had concerns about the number of students in the classroom.

"I love my job, and I love teaching and I firmly believe the best way to do it is face to face," Anderson said. "But if we can't do it safely with a full classroom, probably we should think about half of the kids at a time."

Council Bluffs Community Schools superintendent Dr. Vickie Murillo announced the district is moving forward with its hybrid plan after receiving feedback from parents and staff.

"It is critical to us that we provide a safe environment," Dr. Murillo said.

The hybrid plan separates students by last name, attending class on either Tuesday/Thursday or Wednesday/Friday, and every other Monday.

Students will participate in remote learning on days they aren't in school.

The district says it's important for students and staff to practice all safety precautions while on campuses.

"Students and staff members are encouraged to wear their mask at all times but may have opportunities throughout the day to have a break (say at recess) when they're not near another child and could really use an opportunity to not have their mask," Communications Officer Diane Ostrowski said.

District employees will have to do regular symptom and temperature screenings.

The district also says they'll put a greater emphasis on social distancing as well as enhanced cleaning in all school buildings.

"We've really worked on a comprehensive cleaning plan and what that means is we've looked at all of our schedules," Facilities Director Travis Martin said. "We've had to reevaluate our start and stop times of our teams ... we may have had to shift teams around to make sure we have the right workers in the right place, in the right time."

They'll also limit building access, only allowing essential visitors.

All students and staff will be provided cloth and disposable masks.

The district has developed a remote learning plan, you can find details here.