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‘Too early to tell anything’

Schools wait out closures as Iowa Legislature waives instructional time requirements

CNA photo by SARAH SCULL
CNA photo by SARAH SCULL

Local school districts can breathe a sigh of relief after the Iowa Legislature voted Tuesday morning to waive the instructional time requirement for schools canceling due to COVID-19.

This news means the school will not be forced to make up the four-week closure recommended on March 15 to all state schools by Governor Kim Reynolds. The law also grants Reynolds the ability to extend the waiver if needed.

“It’s a good decision that takes a lot of burden and pressure off the school districts,” said CCSD Superintendent Deron Stender. “It gives us time to reflect and think about what we are going to do.”

Stender said the school has not yet made a plan for the remainder of the school year due to the uncertain nature of the ongoing pandemic.

“It’s too early to tell anything,” said Stender. “This is going day by day... We have to adjust and make decisions based on the information that comes in. Everyday there’s something new. We have the four-week extension, and we will reassess everything once we get to that point and no more.”

Stender said the district is uncertain on the fate of future events but will provide the information to the public as it comes. Currently the district is deciding how to handle Monday’s scheduled school board meeting.

“We are looking at trying to set up a web type thing for the public and the board can still meet next Monday as scheduled,” said Stender. “If anything changes, we will get that information out.”

The district is activating the summer lunch program Monday, and it will be offered 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It will be a drive thru style format in the high school parking lot.

“You will get two lunches on each day that you come,” said Stender. “We designed it that way so that we don’t have people taking as many trips out of their isolation.”

The Crest Area Food Pantry will also be providing meals 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Fridays in the high school parking lot.

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