We would like to provide you with an update on the West Branch Community School District’s Return to Learn Plan. On July 1, all school districts throughout the state needed to submit a plan to the Iowa Department of Education. What was submitted were assurances that will be included in our return to open plan.
We continue to work on four delivery models for the beginning of the school year. These scenarios are listed in the graphic below:
There are still many questions that need to be answered, and we continue to make great progress. The pandemic is so fluid that things are continually changing, which is why it is difficult to know exactly how the start of the school year will look. We also understand that you may disagree with some of our decisions. Our goal is to create a plan that balances the health and safety of our students and staff with providing meaningful instruction. We will keep you updated as we know more. We aim to have a plan for how the school year will start available to all stakeholders by the first week of August.
It’s important to understand that, during this pandemic, no plan will ever be final. We may need to adapt as conditions change. We ask that you prepare for all the scenarios listed above and have plans ready for your family if we need to move to a different learning model at some point in the future.
Finally, below is some important information regarding how the start of the school year will look, depending on which scenario takes place:
- If we begin the year with an onsite model, school will start Wednesday, August 19. We would take three days from the school year and move them ahead of the original August 24 start date.
- If we begin the year with a hybrid model, school will start Thursday, August 20. We would take two days from the school year and move them ahead of the original August 24 start date.
- If we begin the year with an online model, school would start as scheduled on Monday, August 24.
For the upcoming school year, our plan is to not have a J-term right after the holiday break. As much as we value providing these opportunities for students, we believe it is more important to reserve that time to focus on our core classes. We would plan to hold J-term again the following school year.
Once again, thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to plan for a variety of delivery models. We hope to be able to see our students and staff back in our school buildings soon. In the meantime, please have a safe and enjoyable summer.
West Branch CSD Superintendent