Plan to return to classrooms
By Cheryl Parker

In his July 7 letter to the Jesup Community School District, Superintendent Nathan Marting announced preliminary plans to return to on-site learning. The first day of school will be August 24.

The State of Iowa asked each school district to submit a Return to Learn plan by July 1. On July 17, Governor Kim Reynolds released a proclamation continuing the Public Health Disaster Emergency and taking a number of actions to advance Iowa’s Return to Learn strategy. Both documents announced similar broad strategies. Both documents reiterate that parents retain the option to select a learning model for their children that best suits their family.

In his letter to the community, Superintendent Marting said “From our survey administered this past month, the overwhelming majority responded that they would prefer to be on-site this fall.”

While the plan proposed in both documents chooses on-site learning as the best option, both documents stress the need for flexibility and fluidity as the community goes forward and stays focused on the status of the pandemic locally. Remote learning will be ready to be implanted at any time, but will be more stringent in requirements and procedures than the hastily implemented program at the end of last school year.

The school has already had somewhat of a “soft opening” as high school baseball and softball teams, youth rec ball, and the summer child care program started up in June. In July, even more students are returning to school to participate in summer weightlifting, sport camps, open gyms and other activities.

The local Return to Learn team consisting of Superintendent Marting, Jesup school staff, principals, and families, in collaboration with area school districts and the Department of Public Health, has been working out the details of returning to school safely. Marting said “It is our expectation to release our district plan publicly by August 1.”
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