CORONAVIRUS

Marching band, competitive show choir canceled for Iowa City schools this fall

School board approves hybrid return to learn model meeting state's 50 percent on-site learning requirement

The West High marching band plays Sept. 30, 2016, as they march down Washington Street during the University of Iowa hom
The West High marching band plays Sept. 30, 2016, as they march down Washington Street during the University of Iowa homecoming parade in downtown Iowa City. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — Marching band and competitive show choir will not be an option for students in the Iowa City Community School District this fall, as the district works to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Liberty High School Principal Scott Kibby said band directors still want students to have a band experience.

“If we can find opportunities for small ensembles to perform, we will do so because we know performing is what kids want to do,” he said.

There is a lot of time and money invested into show choir at the start of the season, and with “numerous” competitions already canceled, Kibby said it would not be a wise use of the district’s resources.

“We will try to create a show choir experience for kids and families if we’re able to gather in December or January to do that,” Kibby said.

Students enrolled in the online program will have the option of virtual music lessons, Kibby said.

On-site music classes will continue with smaller ensembles. Instruments will be covered with a nylon “mask” to prevent the spread of germs.

Hybrid ‘return to learn’

Students in the district will attend class 50 percent on-site and 50 percent online with the district’s hybrid learning model, which was approved by the school board Tuesday.

Students will be divided into “A” and “B” groups. “A” groups will attend on-site Monday and Tuesday, and B groups will attend Thursday and Friday. Wednesday will alternate between A and B days.

When students are not on-site, they will participate in online learning.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

All teacher professional development training will be conducted via Zoom. Parent-teacher conferences and other meetings with families also will be conducted virtually.

Almost half of students in the Iowa City district have registered for the online learning program. About 53 percent are registered in standard enrollment, which means they will attend either the hybrid, in-person or remote learning model.

Iowa City schools registration closes at midnight Wednesday.

School board member Janet Godwin said she is “heartened” by the number of students who have signed up for online learning.

“It’s alleviating some of the risk by minimizing the number of students in the classroom. It makes me feel better about the hybrid model,” she said.

Interim Superintendent Matt Degner said that coming to school will not be risk-free, “but we’ll work hard to minimize that risk.”

School nurses are working with Johnson County Public Health to be trained in contact tracing.

The district will send more information to families at the end of the week, including what to do if a student is showing symptoms of COVID-19, what to do if a student tests positive, and what to do if a student comes in contact with someone who has tested positive.

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

Support our coverage

Our most important Coronavirus coverage is free to the public.

If you believe local news is essential, especially during this crisis, please donate. Your contribution will support news resources to cover the impact of the pandemic on our local communities.

All donations are tax-deductible.

Support our coverage

Our most important Coronavirus coverage is free to the public.

If you believe local news is essential, especially during this crisis, please donate. Your contribution will support news resources to cover the impact of the pandemic on our local communities.

All donations are tax-deductible.