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Gov. Reynolds orders schools remain closed for rest of academic year

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JOHNSTON, Iowa (KTIV) -- Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds says students will not be returning to class in May.

The governor announced Friday, April 17 that Iowa schools will remain closed through the end of the school year, they will not reopen in May as previously hoped.

Iowa schools have been directed to continue offering alternative learning solutions while schools are closed and to prepare for students to return in the fall.

While I would like nothing more than to open up our schools and classrooms in May, we have to prioritize the health and safety of Iowans,” said Gov. Reynolds. “With our students at home, we must rely on continuous learning plans that are in place and prepare school districts for ‘Return to Learn’ in the fall. I greatly appreciate the work of Director Ann Lebo and all our school administrators, educators, and staff during this unprecedented time.”

The governor and the Iowa Department of Education also announced that the state of Iowa will waive instructional time requirements for the remainder of the 2019-2020 regularly scheduled academic year.

This waiver will only affect schools that continue to provide approved continuous learning options. These options include online learning, e-learning, distance learning that includes paper packets and virtual learning.

Iowa officials say schools will be required to submit a "Return to Learn Plan" to the department of education by July 1 outlining ways they will address disruptions to learning as a result of COVID-19. These plans could include summer school, enrichment activities or other opportunities to address the needs of students.

The state has also waived the requirement that schools start no earlier than August 23. This allows local school districts and nonpublic schools to make their own decisions about the length of their 2020-2021 school year.

Though school buildings will remain closed though the end of the school year, approved meals site locations participating in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Summer Food Service Program will remain open.

The governor had previously ordered schools to close through April 30. Officials say all of Iowa’s 327 public school districts, as well as 179 nonpublic schools, currently offer approved continuous learning options.


JOHNSTON, Iowa (KTIV) -- Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds held a news conference Friday at 11 a.m. to update the public on the state's response to the COVID-19 coronavirus.

KTIV App Users: To watch the news conference on, click here.

Click here to watch the news conference on KTIV's Facebook Page.

KTIV also broadcasted the news conference live on channel 4.1.

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Dean Welte

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