Ames school district's hours for online learning will count
The Ames school district's plan to begin the school year online for two weeks has been approved by the Department of Education, the district announced Tuesday evening.
As a result of the approval, the hours will count and not have to be made up at another time.
The Ames school board voted on Monday to start the school year in a 100% off-site, required continuous learning delivery model, following a recommendation made by Superintendent Jenny Risner.
"This decision was based on the COVID-19 positivity rates in our community," the district wrote in an online release. "On Monday, the 14-day positivity rate was 21.1%, which exceeds not only our local metrics but those outlined by the Department of Education."
Beginning Tuesday — the district's first day of school — students will learn remotely for a two week period until Friday, Sept. 18.
While the district is online, all athletics including games and practices will be canceled for two weeks. However, the district noted that "athletics scheduled for the remainder of this week will continue with strict mitigation practices in place."
"The decision to pause athletics is not a choice by the District, but a decision made by the Department of Education," the district wrote in Tuesday's release. "The Iowa High School Athletic Association has agreed to deem any of these scheduled competitions as a “no contest.”
During the week of Sept. 14, the Ames Board of Education will meet to act on a recommendation from Risner regarding which delivery model will be used after the two week period.
The decision will be "based on the COVID-19 metrics at the time," the district noted, and added that "the most likely options" at the time will include continuing in the required continuous learning online model, or moving into a hybrid model.