July 29, 2020
Dear MISD Families,
Thank you to those of you who completed the survey last week regarding your anticipated plans for your child(ren) to return to on-site or online instruction. Based on the survey results thus far approximately 73% intend to return on-site, 14% will request remote/on-line instruction (Edgenuity or APEX), and 14% of students will have a blend of on-site and online (APEX) for their HS block schedule. By August 10 we will be asking parents to make a final determination regarding whether your child(ren) will be on-site or you will be enrolling your child(ren) in online instruction. For those choosing online instruction, you must complete the enrollment process accessible in the guidebook linked below in addition to the district online registration, for those choosing on-site nothing further will be needed beyond completion of the online registration.
As noted previously, we are providing an update to the Return to Learn Guidebook today, to include plan revisions and building-specific details. There are 2 important changes to specifically note.
- The first is in regards to face coverings. Although the guidance issued through the Iowa Department of Education on July 1st notes, “Requiring face coverings for all staff and students is not recommended,” the guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) as well as the recent release of Return to Learn Guidance from Linn County Public Health (LCPH) both support face coverings as an important mitigation effort. Because safety and health are of primary concern in our decision making processes for students and for our MISD staff, we believe this is an important strategy to care for one another. Therefore, face coverings (cloth mask and/or face shield) will be required for all staff and students unless 6’ of social distancing can be practiced.
- Secondly, we plan to operate on a hybrid schedule for the first 2 weeks of school, using an A/B cohort model (see the guidebook linked below for specific details). This will allow students and staff to transition back to school in smaller group sizes as well as provide an opportunity for the district to closely monitor student and staff absences related to COVID-19. We intend to transition to full on-site learning for those planning to be on-site right after labor day, Sep. 8. However, if COVID-19 cases rise or there are high absentee rates for students and/or staff, we will work with the Iowa Department of Education (DE), Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH), and LCPH to make adjustments to either continue the hybrid model or consider a transition to a remote continuous learning model for all students.
Below you may access MISD’s updated Return to Learn Guidebook, which outlines district and building-specific plans. The district and building plans will be reviewed with the Board of Education tomorrow, July 30 at 4:30pm. The Board has engaged in previous reviews during the regularly scheduled Board meetings on June 22 and July 13. Although the guidebook is intended to be the final release prior to the start of school, we will continue to make revisions throughout the year if needed based on ongoing guidance from the Iowa DE, the IDPH, LCPH, the CDC, and Governor Reynolds.
MISD Return to Learn-
Please note that online registration is now open, accessible via the district website at https://www.marion-isd.org/main/enrollment/. Online registration is for ALL families, regardless of whether your child(ren) will attend on-site or online. All registration information and payment of fees are able to be completed online. If you require assistance with registration, please contact the school or district office. Additionally, on-site registration will be available, by appointment only, at each building site Aug. 7 from 12-6:00pm. If you require assistance in the form of on-site registration, please contact the building office by phone or email to schedule an appointment.
Janelle Brouwer, Superintendent