Des Moines Public Schools approves COVID-19 metrics in Return to Learn plan

Des Moines Public Schools approved a new set of COVID-19 metrics on Wednesday night, clearing the way for students to potentially return to in-person learning this month.

The school board voted to begin a phased reopening of classrooms started with preschools on October 12, with elementary schools following on October 19. Middle school students would be back to in-person learning on October 26, and high-school students would return on November 10.

Students would learn via a hybrid model if the COVID-19 positivity rate in Polk County is between 5 to 10%, there are 11 to 99 positive cases are reported per 100,000 people, and student and staff absenteeism is below 10%.

Under this model, students would be split into two groups and attend in-person classes two days in one week, then three days the next week.

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