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IA officials share return-to-school guidelines

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks during a news conference about an update on the state's response to the new coronavirus outbreak, Tuesday, March 10, 2020, at the Statehouse in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Posted at 11:02 AM, Jul 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-30 13:54:05-04

DES MOINES, Iowa (KMTV) — On Thursday, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds held a return to learn press conference in Des Moines.

Reynolds kicked things off by saying online learning was considered a critical part of educating students in Iowa amid the pandemic but it wasn't relied on completely when coming up with state-issued guidelines for school districts. She, and other speakers on hand, cited services provided by schools which they believe benefit students and parents who contribute to the state’s workforce.

When it comes to fears of children passing coronavirus to peers and teachers, Reynolds and State Public Health Medical Director Dr. Caitlin Pedati cited lower transmission rates among children in the state as well as international studies that provided a similar outlook. Pedati said, when looking at the data, children without underlying conditions tend to contract the virus less often than adults and that they suffer less severe symptoms.

Reynolds, Pedati and Iowa Department of Education Director Ann Lebo said in-person instruction is the state’s goal for all children. They are continuing to work with districts and students on a case-by-case basis. If a student is sick or more susceptible to contracting and suffering severely from coronavirus, remote options can be implemented for those students.

A big point all three speakers hit on was that the state’s plan is fluid and that it is subject to change based on infection numbers and changes in developing science.

Based on positivity and absentee rates, more or less remote learning may take place, said Lebo:

Return To Learn Iowa Threshold Guidlines

Some districts are, along with input from the community, choosing to implement higher levels of remote learning, said Lebo:

Lebo on Differing Levels of In-Person Instruction for IA Students

Is the state doing enough to keep students and families safe? Let us know by voting in our Facebook poll:

You can watch the whole press conference below: