Iowa City schools allowed to start class completely remote

The school district, whose original waiver from the state was denied, filed another waiver that the Iowa Department of Education granted, allowing them to hold classes 100 percent online.

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The Iowa City School District sign is seen off of North Dodge Street on Tuesday, September 6, 2016. (The Daily Iowan/Joseph Cress)

Lillian Poulsen, News Reporter


After Johnson County experienced a surge in COVID-19 cases, the state granted permission to the Iowa City Community School District to move to all-virtual classroom instruction after initially denying the district’s initial request for all-online schooling.

Interim Superintendent Matt Degner sent an email to families on Thursday, saying the district petitioned the state government on Wednesday to begin the year 100 percent online. The request was granted Wednesday evening.

The decision comes after more than 300 positive cases of COVID-19 over a four-day period were reported in Johnson County, as previously reported by The Daily Iowan. On Wednesday, Johnson County Public Health sent a message to the Iowa Department of Education and the Iowa Department of Public Health in support of the district’s request to move to remote learning.

RELATED: Reynolds says schools will need to make up non-compliant online instruction hours

On Aug. 6, the Iowa Department of Education denied a request from the school district to move to remote learning. ICCSD filed a lawsuit on Aug. 19 against the state, saying Gov. Kim Reynolds violated her responsibility to protect the health and welfare of citizens.

According to an email from Degner, the district has not decided what changes they will make to the start of the school year. The Board of Directors will hold a special board meeting this Saturday to make the decision to continue the hybrid model or move completely online.

Degner said this decision will change the district’s start date for students to return to instruction. The district plans to begin classes on Sept. 8.

“We have been preparing for this possibility, recognizing the extremely fluid nature of this situation,” Degner said in an email. “The health of our students and staff remains the driving force in our decision-making.”

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