August 25, 2020

RTL Update – School Board Statement on the Importance of Local Control

Here is the latest information around Return to Learn for the 2020-2021 school year. 

Department of Education Permission for Phased-In Hybrid Denied

The Ames Community School District requested permission from the Department of Education (DE) to begin the school year in a “phased-in” hybrid delivery model and it has been denied. We are continuing to work with the DE to understand what options are available to us and how instructional hours completed during the “phased-in” time period will contribute to the overall total. 


School Board Statement on DE Denial and the Importance of Local Control

This morning, the Ames school board issued a statement in response to the Department of Education denying permission for the “phased-in” hybrid delivery model. In the statement, they outlined next steps and reinforced the importance of local control. You can read the statement on our website.


What Does This Mean… 

…for the Start of School? The start date for school continues to be Tuesday, September 8 and the District will begin in the board approved “phased-in” hybrid model. The desire is to transition to a traditional hybrid model with 50% online and 50% on-site after four weeks. This determination would be based on local metrics at that time. 

… for Instructional Hours? Adjustments to the 2020-2021 school calendar was discussed at Monday’s school board meeting. We will ensure that we meet the instructional hours throughout the 2020-2021 school year as required by the Department of Education. 

… for Graduation Status? We ensure that the Class of 2021 graduating seniors will meet the graduation requirements as directed by the state. 

… Moving Forward? We will continue to work with the Department of Education, District’s legal counsel, and the Ames School Board regarding the petition for judicial review. The legal process could take months.