Des Moines Metro School Districts Start Firming Up Plans For Upcoming Year


POLK COUNTY, Iowa - Metro school districts are firming up plans to start school over the next couple of weeks.

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The Urbandale district will start classes with a hybrid of on-site and online classes in the new school year.

The school board has chosen to divide students into two groups that'll alternate days with in-person classes.

The hybrid plan conforms with the state's requirement for 50 percent of classes to be in-person.

Urbandale's year round Rolling Green Elementary has been holding online only classes since July 23rd in defiance of the order, but will switch to the hybrid plan when the rest of the district starts classes on August 25th.

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Families in the Waukee School District will have the option of sending kids back to school either in person or though online only classes.

The plan complies with state guidelines for in-person classes half the time, although Waukee has been among the most vocal critics of the requirement.

The district said it would use guidance from the CDC and health experts from the University of Iowa in figuring how to move forward.

It finalized its plan Monday night, with school set to start in Waukee on August 24th.

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West Des Moines Schools will start classes a day later than originally scheduled this month.

The School Board voted unanimously Monday night to push the start date from August 26th to 27th, in order to give teachers more preparation time during the pandemic.

The district will start the year with in-person classes in compliance with state guidelines, and families will have the option to go online only.

But the West Des Moines plan calls for consideration of online only classes district wide if COVID-19 rates in Polk County reach 10 percent, which is lower than what the state is calling for.

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The Des Moines School District is meeting tonight to decide on its plan moving forward.

The district is considering whether to move its start date back to September 8th, a move already taken by the Ames and Iowa City districts.

Des Moines has not ruled out starting classes entirely online for middle and high school students, which would defy the state's requirement for in-person classes.