Schools Across Iowa Making Plans For Returning Students

Northwest Iowa — Back to school time is slowly yet surely creeping up on school districts, as well as students. Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, schools across northwest Iowa have been coming up with plans that will allow students to not only return safely, but also give them an adequate learning experience.

Here at KIWA we have reached out to schools in northwest Iowa to see exactly what their plans are for students returning to school for the 2020-21 school year. Keep in mind that times are uncertain, and information is subject to change.

Sheldon: The Sheldon School District is planning on having students return on August 12th, and they will be taking on a face-to-face learning plan, but an online option is being offered to parents who aren’t fully comfortable with their children coming back to school just yet. Masks will be required on school buses as social distancing is not possible. It is recommended that parents, if able, provide children with transportation to school via personal vehicles. However when students are in the building, masks are not required but are HIGHLY recommended for students as well as staff. For more information about specific plans for the specific school buildings check the Sheldon Schools website.

Rock Valley: Students will be returning to Rock Valley Schools on August 24th. Masks will not be required in the school building or on the school buses, but are very highly recommended for students to wear in places such as hallways and buses. Buses will have social distancing measures in place. Students will have to sit every other seat, and siblings will sit together. As soon as students enter the building, they have to put on hand sanitizer provided to them by the school. Students are encouraged to bring their own water bottles for hydration because water fountains can now only be used to fill up students’ water bottles.

West Sioux: August 25th is when students are expected to return for face-to-face learning. Masks are recommended for students and staff to wear, but are not being required. Many extra measures will be put into place for students and staff to assist with social distancing, as well as extra measures being put in place to keep the building clean and sanitary. As of now, no changes have been made to sports and other extracurricular except those made by the governor and protocols put into place to social distance. No changes are being made to buses or bus routes except the measures to disinfect and social distance.

Sibley-Ocheyedan: Face-to-face learning will begin on August 24th for students. Masks are recommended for students to wear. Static seating charts have been created in classrooms to keep students six feet apart to follow social distancing guidelines. Sports teams are planned to begin practices on August 10th, and coaches have teams working in pods to minimize contact with others. The marching band is having students practice in self-isolation / large spaces where social distancing is possible.

Unity Christian: Freshmen will be returning on August 24th for an orientation to allow students to meet teachers, and find classrooms, the other students will join the following day on the 25th. An in-person education plan is being put into place, however, preparations are made if students need to go to a distance plan. Masks are encouraged but not required. Sports and other extracurricular activities are going to continue as planned with guidance from the proper state associations.

Western Christian: An orientation for the freshmen will be on August 20th so they can learn their schedules, then on the 24th of August, all students and faculty members will attend. Face-to-face learning is the educational path being taken, but there is a hybrid option for students who are required to stay home due to sickness/quarantine reasons. There is also an online plan in place in case the building needs to be shut down.

Sioux Center: Students will be returning to a face-to-face model of learning on August 13th. Masks will be required for students 5th through 12th grade when social distancing guidelines can’t be followed, however, masks are required for students and bus drivers while on the bus.

MOC-Floyd Valley: Students will be returning August 24th to a face-to-face learning plan. Right now masks are not required, however, a final decision will be made by the school board on August 10th. For extracurricular activities, the school will follow guidelines set forth by the IHSAA, IGHSAU, and the IHSMA. Social distancing guidelines will be in place on buses.

Central Lyon: Students will be returning on August 19th. Return to Learn plans are still being finalized. A meeting on August 10th will finalize the last decisions that still need to be made, and review the current plan in place. A face-to-face method will be in place for students, but if students wish to, there will be an online option available. Sports schedules are following the appropriate guidelines from the proper associations. A full schedule is posted to the Central Lyon website.

South O’Brien: Students go back to school on August 20th face-to-face with parent option for full online learning. Face masks will be required when social distancing cannot happen. South O’Brien is working hard to get social distancing in as many classes as possible and the school is looking at additional spaces to hold classes when they cannot achieve social distancing in particular classrooms. South O’Brien is requiring face masks on all buses. Cleaning frequency will be occurring more often to assure sanitation is being properly addressed. The state sporting requirements are still being determined at a Conference level.






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