Des Moines schools consider offering online classes for elementary students

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DES MOINES, Iowa – The start of the school year is fast approaching in Iowa and with the CDC considering Polk County as an area of high COVID-19 transmission, the Des Moines School Board is reevaluating the district’s return to learn plan.

The board will decide Tuesday whether to offer an online option for elementary school students — the age group not yet eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

The CDC’s guidelines are that everyone in a K-12 school setting should be masked when classes resume for the new school year. Iowa is among the states where that can’t be mandated because under state law school districts cannot require students or staff to wear face masks.

The district says it did not plan to offer an online option however families have been requesting it.

At Tuesday night’s board meeting, members will discuss signing a contract with a company that would provide students with online course material. If the board approves, families will be notified about the option starting Wednesday and enrollment would begin next Monday.

The district says it would use federal pandemic funding to cover the cost of this new option.

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