DES MOINES, Iowa — At a virtual press conference on Wednesday, the Iowa State Education Association (ISEA) listed out their own COVID-19 safety measures that they believe Iowa schools should implement when classes begin this fall.
The ISEA also called out the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) and Iowa Department of Education (DOE) for being "irresponsible" with the guidance they released last week.
ISEA President Mike Beranek said that the organization wants to include the following safety measures when students and staff return to class:
- Require face coverings for students and staff
- Teach proper hand washing techniques
- Rearranging furniture to ensure social distancing
- Install floor markings and signage to help with social distancing
- Institute procedures for screening and monitoring students and staff
Beranek said that schools have been working on their Return to Learn plans for months, with help from educators. Beranek said that educators helping with these plans made staff feel more confident with returning to school.
"So when the DOE and the [IDPH] released ambiguous and contradictory guidance, which have made the potential to derail the progress of Return to Learn plans, we were frustrated," Beranek said.
WATCH: Complete "Return to Learn" coverage from Local 5 on YouTube
"What is really needed right now is definitive leadership and guidance. We do not need leadership telling us what we may want to, or this might help with no clear direction at the federal level, or state mandated mandated guidelines. Our school districts are looking for clear guidance based in science and help," said Beranek.
"That should not be hard," he stated.
Text LEARN to 515-457-1026 to learn your school district's plans for learning this fall.
Watch the entire press conference below: