“We miss you.”
That was the message scrawled across many a poster boards and plastered to car dashboards and doors last week as teachers paraded through the Midland and Anamosa districts April 1 to wave at students the staff hadn’t seen in weeks.
The parade of cars, led by the local fire departments, stretched blocks across town as students stood outside to wave to their teachers. For those that were not able to see the parade in person, both districts posted videos of the parade on their respective social medias.
In Olin, the administration and staff sent out the Lion Tales for May chocked full of messages for parents and students. Superintendent Mark Dohmen and Principal Lindsey Given encouraged them to interact with the districts or other family members.
The letter included messages from various teachers on how students could work on some of the concepts they had been working on in subjects across the board.
With Gov. Kim Reynolds extending the closure to April 30 and saying that the days would not need to be made up if the districts “adopt a plan for offering continuous learning and submit it to the Iowa Department of Education by April 10, 2020. Consistent with any continuing learning guidance from the Department, such a plan may offer Voluntary Educational Enrichment Opportunities or provide Required Educational Services and must be submitted through the Consolidated Accountability and Support Application (CASA) system.”
The Anamosa school district announced they planned to submit something to the state in the coming days. At the April 6 meeting of the Anamosa School Board, Superintendent Larry Hunt said the district was sending out a connectivity study to families, but was likely going to go with a ramped-up version of the voluntary learning option with teachers reaching out more often and more directly with students. Hunt believed the district was not in the position to offer the required learning option.
Administrators across the state have had discussions with the three schools approved for online learning. When they asked what it would take to get to the point to do online learning, the response administrators were getting, according to Hunt, was “their first comment was about a year of research.”
In a letter to Springville parents and students, Superintendent Pat Hocking said the district would be offering more online opportunities to comply with the governor’s orders.
When it comes to the uncertainty surrounding end of the year events, one local administrator had a message for students.
“There is a lot of uncertainty right now, and I don’t have the answers to a lot of the questions out there, but this I know. I want to give our kids their prom. More importantly, I want to make sure our seniors get a graduation ceremony. Not some virtual ceremony, but a real ceremony where I get to announce each and every name from the senior class and proudly watch them walk across the stage and receive their diplomas,” Midland Middle/High School Principal Carol Guenther said.
“They deserve it. Their parents deserve it. The teachers deserve it.”