CORONAVIRUS

Cedar Rapids schools apply to go entirely online for 2 weeks starting Thursday

A sign posted outside Johnson Steam Academy alerts students to a suspension of in-person learning in Cedar Rapids on Tue
A sign posted outside Johnson Steam Academy alerts students to a suspension of in-person learning in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — The Cedar Rapids Community School District is applying for a two-week waiver for virtual instruction for all schools.

If granted by the Iowa Department of Education, students would start in remote learning on Thursday and return to in-person instruction on Monday, Nov. 30.

In an email to families Tuesday morning, Superintendent Noreen Bush cited the high rate of community spread of the coronavirus, the impact on the health care system and the Cedar Rapids schools staff absentee rate impacting all departments as reasons for a districtwide waiver.

As of Friday, Nov. 6, 91 students and 69 staff were in quarantine and 21 students and 45 staff had tested positive for COVID-19.

Four schools were expected to reopen after derecho-related repairs were completed on Monday, Nov. 16. These buildings are Franklin Middle School, McKinley STEAM Academy and Jefferson and Washington High School.

If the waiver is granted, these building reopenings will not occur until after all students return to in-person learning at the end of November.

Over the weekend, the district applied and was granted a one-week waiver for temporary virtual instruction at Hoover Elementary School, and students started virtually Monday.

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Monday afternoon, the district applied for a two-week waiver for temporary virtual instruction for Johnson STEAM Academy.

The Department of Education has 48 hours to respond to the district’s request for a virtual waiver.

Comments: (319) 398-8411; grace.king@thegazette.com

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