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Local 5 - weareiowa.com | Des Moines Local News & Weather | Des Moines, Iowa

Educators drive through downtown Des Moines asking for safety in reopening schools

One event organizer told Local 5 the goal was to help school employees and students go "back to a safer environment".

DES MOINES, Iowa — As schools prepare with Return to Learn plans and the cleaning of buildings, a steady stream of cars traveled throughout downtown Des Moines Friday to call for enhanced coronavirus safety in schools in the fall.

"We really supported our own district as we felt that they were taking safe measures," said Bettina Bradley, one of the event organizers. "Maybe not popular, but safe measures to return."

She says Gov. Reynolds' order to prioritize in-person learning sent months of preparation "out the window."

School districts across Iowa are required to have more than 50% of their core instruction in-person this fall unless the state grants them a waiver. 

According to the governor's office, remote learning is authorized when: 

  • Parents select remote learning as the best option for their family;
  • The Iowa Department of Education in consultation with the Iowa Department of Public Health approves a temporary move to online learning for an entire building or district in response to public health conditions;
  • A school, in consultation with state and local public health officials, determines that individual students or classrooms must be temporarily moved to online learning; or
  • A school chooses to temporarily move to online learning because of severe weather instead of taking a snow day.

Friday's parade started at East High School and passed by the Iowa State Capitol.

Tammy Bortscheller, another event organizer, told Local 5 the goal was to help school employees and students go "back to a safer environment".

She was encouraged by the event's turnout.

"Look what teachers can do," Bortscheller said.

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