AMES, Iowa — This week the Ames Community School District filed an application to extend online learning into December due to COVID-19 numbers. The problem is that some have found the numbers used in the application not to be accurate.
“The parents in our community are very concerned we want our children back in school so we’ve been watching these applications very closely,” said Kira Werstein, an Ames parent of three small children. “Yesterday when it was posted by the Department of Education we looked at the statistics or the data that was entered in the application and it is not consistent with the data that’s on the Ames School website for this week.”
Werstein contacted the Ames School District and got a response from Supt. of Schools, Jenny Risner saying the application was in error.
In a statement from the Ames Community School District the error was acknowledged.
“The data that was uploaded into the application represented the total number of staff and students absent for the year, not that particular week, it was a human inputting error as that data was being used for a different DE (Department of Education) report,” according to the statement.
“What they are the three applications the Ames community school district has been approved by the state for waivers, ones dated November 10th, ones dated November 13th, the most recent one is dated November 25th,” said Ames High School Senior Adam Wolf. “They all have some sort of error within them.”
Wolf said he is anxious to return to school in person.
“Because of being online, we don’t have the same level of engagement,” said Wolf.
“What’s really important to the parents in our community is that we do have data to support the schools are not super spreaders,” said Werstein. “Evidence to support that the risk for children is very low, they have very mild symptoms, and they generally don’t spread Covid.”
The Ames School District has contacted the Iowa Department of Education to correct the error. A special meeting of the Ames School Board has been called for Thursday at noon. Supt. Risner has recommending returning to hybrid status starting next Monday.