CORONAVIRUS

Iowa City schools moving to hybrid learning Monday

Superintendent says district will return to online if COVID-19 rates spike

The Iowa City Community School District headquarters in Iowa City. (The Gazette)
The Iowa City Community School District headquarters in Iowa City. (The Gazette)
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IOWA CITY — Iowa City schools are returning to hybrid learning Monday, even though it received a state waiver Friday afternoon to continue with online-only learning.

In an email to families Friday, interim Superintendent Matt Degner said that due to late notice and the current positivity rate in the community, the district will transition back to hybrid learning next week.

The matrix guiding the district specifies it will consider online-only learning if Johnson County’s 14-day COVID-19 positivity rate is 10 percent or higher.

On Friday afternoon, that 14-day rate was 11.3 percent.

Degner said he tried to apply for a temporary virtual learning waiver earlier in the week but said the Department of Education asked him to wait until later in the week, when coronavirus cases were expected to trend downward.

The district has been in virtual learning since Nov. 14, after the state department approved its request for a waiver from in-person classes.

Degner said the district is continuing to monitor COVID-19 positivity rates, and families need to be prepared to move to off-site learning midweek if rates spike.

But, for now, the district is planning one week of hybrid learning — some in-person, some online — before winter break starts Dec. 21.

Students are expected to return to hybrid learning Jan. 4.

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

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