Cory Myer: Sheldon Schools Planning On A Face-To-Face Format For 20-21 School Year

Sheldon, Iowa — On Friday, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds issued a proclamation that outlines some of the expectations for schools returning to class this fall while continuing to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

The proclamation directs all school districts to focus on preparing to safely welcome back students and teachers IN PERSON this fall. Sheldon Community Schools Superintendent Cory Myer says that’s exactly what the Sheldon district has planned.

(As above) “We’re planning on welcoming students back in a face-to-face format. If a parent doesn’t feel that’s in their best interest for their student to come back in that face-to-face format, whether it’s some medical issues for the student or parents, there’s a process that they can go through to get approval to do that from home, and we’re following some state guidelines on what qualifies for that.”

While the governor’s proclamation permits remote learning when parents select it as the best option for their family, Myer says there has been limited interest in it by Sheldon district parents.

(As above) “We’re certainly working with families to allow that option, for those families who want that option. Up to this point we’ve had very limited interest in that, I think the vast majority of the families we’ve heard from are really excited for the kids to get back in that face-to-face, and to get some sense of normalcy.” 

He says flexibility will be required in order to serve the needs of all students and faculty.

(As above) “We anticipate that we’re going to have teachers face-to-face, that we’re going to have kids in the classroom and then we also know that due to illness, concerns of illness….whatever the case might be, we’re going to have some students that will be learning remotely from home at the same time. So, we’re really working on getting our teachers prepared to teach those students that are in the classroom, as well as those who might be joining class, remotely, from home.”

The Governor’s Proclamation also states that schools will have to follow social distancing guidelines, whenever possible. We asked Myer what that would look like in a school setting.

(As above) “We do have some measures in place that we think will help with social distancing. We’ll have all of our seats in a classroom, for example, desks that maybe would have been in small groups to encourage more collaboration that way with students…we’re going to  be moving away from that model, at least in the foreseeable future, as we work toward all the desks facing one direction, trying to space things out a little bit farther so we’ll be extending the parameters of that classroom and putting kids a little bit closer to the walls in that sense. Trying to create as much spacing as we can, and we feel like, for most of our classrooms, we’re going to be able to maintain that social distancing.”

He says they’ve also made some changes to the way lunchtime will be handled.

(As above) “We’ve also done things with lunchtime, like adding an additional lunch shift into our high school schedule so that we’ll have three lunch shifts instead of two to spread things out there. At the elementary we’re talking about having half our students eat in the lunchroom and half of our students eat in the gymnasium. So we are taking every precaution we can to provide more social distancing.”

Myer says this will be an interesting and challenging school year, but the Sheldon Community Schools are committed to keeping their students, faculty and staff safe.

Classes for students begin August 12th.



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