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With summer in full swing, families prepare for schooling in the fall

Iowa schools have until July 1 to submit their "Return to Learn" plans to the Iowa Department of Education.


Iowa's schools are working on plans for when your children can return to school. And that means you have a decision to make.

Will you send your kids back to school or homeschool?

For Eleanor Bernsten, a junior at Des Moines Public Schools' virtual campus, the decision was simple.

"When looking at going to high school and being signed to a record label, the best option is doing something that gives me a little more flexibility," Bernsten said.

As a local musician and high school student, she has been homeschooling via virtual campus for two years.

Although her reasons to homeschool aren't related to the coronavirus, she has some insight for your student, if you or they chose to want to go the virtual route in the fall.

"It's the same ciriculum that all the other DMPS schools would use," Bersten said. "It's just all the information right there and you kind of get to chose how you want to learn it."

Bernsten logs into the virtual campus called Canvas, where she has access to her teacher's lesson plans and assignments.

Parents aren't required to teach any material, but where they will need to assist is making sure their kid is staying on top of their schoolwork.

"I think you have to have a little assurance that your child is going to be able to self motivate. Like, making sure that your kid is staying involved in their school work is definitely at lot of work. And knowing that your child is going to need some reminders and assistance is think is the biggest thing to consider."

If your child is unsure of attending school in the fall amid the virus, take time management into consideration.

"I'd say go for it," Bernsten said. "And if it doesn't work, that's alright too."

Bernsten will complete both her junior and senior year next year, and graduate early, which she is able to do because of the virtual campus.

Iowa schools have until July 1 to submit their "Return to Learn" plans to the Iowa Department of Education.which primarily includes whether or not a school is able to have all online learning.

But those plans don't need specifics yet because so much can change between now and the start of school.

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