Schools in Allamakee County offering online learning opportunities during extended closure for COVID-19

Schools now closed through the end of April ... An order issued by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds Thursday, April 2 extended the closure of Iowa schools and some businesses through April 30 in an effort to slow the spread of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Schools had initially been closed four weeks, through April 13, following Governor Reynolds’ first order issued March 15, but an expected peak in COVID-19 cases as the month of April progresses forced the extended closure. Those first four weeks had been waived as far as having to make up missed school days, but in order for schools to have these next two weeks waived as well they must submit a plan to the Iowa Board of Education by April 10 to implement a voluntary or required continuous education plan for students, which both the Allamakee Community School District and the Eastern Allamakee Community School District intend to do, as indicated in the article below.

by Lissa Blake

In light of Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds’ recent extension of school closures from April 13 to April 30 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, all schools in Allamakee County remain closed for the time being.

Eastern Allamakee Community School District Superintendent Dr. Dale Crozier said, “Eastern Allamakee will follow the Governor’s order and we will keep our schools closed through April 30. We will continue to offer voluntary learning opportunities as it currently is right now until further notice. Our meal-site program will also continue.”

Allamakee Community School District Superintendent Jay Mathis said this week students will begin online learning opportunities through the District’s learning management system. “Teachers will post some video lessons and there will be links to activities. It will also provide a forum for students to ask questions,” said Mathis.

Mathis noted the lessons are voluntary, as it would be very hard to make them mandatory. “Not all kids have internet access at home. Some are taking care of their siblings while their parents go to work, and in some cases, parents could be working at home and need the bandwidth,” he explained. “Very few districts are making it mandatory, there are just a lot of hurdles to that. We will not have to make up our days during this time.”

Mathis added teachers will be communicating with students on a daily basis, giving them activities to work on and providing feedback on those activities. “It’s kind of a wait-and-see situation. We are following the directions our governor is giving us and we have been getting lots of support from state officials and our Area Education Agencies,” he said. “Right now, there is no reason to panic. We’re just making the best out of a really strange situation.”

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