All K-12 schools will be closed for the remainder of the school year, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, announced Friday to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Schools were previously scheduled to reopen May 1. The Iowa Department of Education will also waive instruction time requirements for the 2019-20 school year, and permit schools to start their year earlier than Aug. 23 to allow school districts to decide whether to lengthen the 2020-21 academic year.
Schools will also be required to send a plan to the education department by July 1 outlining ways schools will address disruptions to learning caused by COVID-19. This could include summer school, enrichment activities, or other opportunities to address learning needs, Reynolds said.
School buildings will remain closed through the end of the school year except for approved meals site locations participating in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program and those providing temporary emergency child care.
The cancellation also suspends spring sports activities. The status of summer sports and when other school-sponsored activities can resume will be decided by June 1.
As of Friday, Iowa had 2,332 positive coronavirus cases and 64 Iowans have died. Thursday, the governor put added restrictions on northeast Iowa, banning residents from seeing people that don’t live in their own household in-person in nonessential scenarios.