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

What Iowans should know about guidelines for school and educational programs

Going back to school won't look the same as it did before.

Earlier this week, the Iowa Department of Education gave the go-ahead for schools to open their doors if they choose for in-person summer school starting June 1.

But the experience won't be as we once knew it.

For starters, students and staff must be screened with temperature checks upon entry. Proper hand-washing methods will also be taught and enforced.

Social distancing will be in effect by limiting group sizes.

The CDC's guidelines could also bring noticeable changes to the fall, if and when schools open back up. 

Here's what it could look like, based on the CDC guidelines. Again, the CDC information is "meant to supplement -- not replace" local guidance:

  • All students over the age of two will be required to wear a face mask
    • Cloth face coverings should not be placed on anyone who has difficulty breathing or is unconscious, or on anyone who is incapacitated/unable to remove the mask without assistance, according to the CDC
  • Desks, again, will be spaced at least six feet apart, with sneeze guards or barriers in place if that's not possible.
  • One-way routes will be marked in hallways to keep the crossing of paths to a minimum
  • No communal lunch period; students will be asked to eat their meals and snacks at their desks.

In order to implement this distancing, districts would have to take class sizes, as well as the possibility of protective barriers, into account.

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The CDC also says the lowest-risk option for schools is still to continue to keep students away from the building and keep learning entirely virtual.

The CDC also asks that all students come prepared with the adequate supplies to do their work, as anyone sharing supplies is highly discouraged.  In other words, "Can I borrow a pencil?" is a common question that the CDC recommends not asking in school anymore, at least for the time being.

Students are also encouraged to bring their own water bottles to school to limit the use of high-touch public drinking fountains.

For more information on the CDC's recommendations to schools and parents, click here.

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