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Des Moines Public Schools approves 2020-21 academic calendar, pushing start date until after Labor Day

A waiver for DMPS to begin classes 100% online must be approved by the state.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Des Moines Public Schools has approved a new academic calendar for the 2020-21 school year.

The latest update means students wouldn't go back until Tuesday, Sept. 8, which is after Labor Day. 

The last day of school would be June 2, 2021.

DMPS superintendent Dr. Thomas Ahart also recommended the board approve beginning the school year with fully-virtual instruction and transition to their previously-approved Return to Learn plan once COVID-19 conditions in Polk County allow for safe, in-person teaching.

DMPS must be granted a wavier from the state to hold instruction 100% online.

A similar request has previously been denied by the Iowa Department of Education for educators in Urbandale.

"I want to be very clear, schools that choose not to return to school for at least 50% in person instruction, are not defying me, they're defying the law," Gov.  Kim Reynolds said on Aug. 4.

Under the law, there must be a 15% positivity rate in a county on average for 14 days, as well as a 10% absenteeism in a school, before a district can apply to temporarily move classes online. 

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