CORONAVIRUS

Iowa City schools can stay online longer

Board will meet to decide how to proceed

The Iowa City Community School District Headquarters in Iowa City. (Gazette file photo)
The Iowa City Community School District Headquarters in Iowa City. (Gazette file photo)

IOWA CITY — State officials have granted the Iowa City Community School District a two-week extension to continue teaching all classes online as it seeks to avoid the spread of the coronavirus among students and staff.

Now that the district has the option of continuing online-only classes until Oct. 6, the school board is scheduled to meet next week to discuss how it will proceed.

Without a waiver, half the classes are required to be delivered in-person and half virtually for families that chose the hybrid model of instruction — as most did.

School districts must request a waiver from the state in order to pursue two weeks of online-only classes.

The Iowa City school district already went through that process last month, obtaining permission to hold classes online only for two weeks after the academic year began Tuesday.

The district submitted the new request seeking another waiver, but board members said they would decide later whether to use all or part of the extension.

The district noted in its application that Johnson County’s 14-day positivity rates had been climbing and had reached 20.4 percent Wednesday.

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“This quick increase is due to an increase in cases between the age of 18 and 24, representing the return to Iowa City by thousands of college students,” the district’s letter accompanying its application.

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