AMES, Iowa — The state Department of Education has approved the Ames School District's request to begin the school year completely online.
The school board requested the temporary waiver in response to the current COVID-19 positivity rates in Story County.
On Tuesday afternoon, state education leaders sent a letter to the superintendent, stating, in part: "Your request contains evidence that the Ames Community School District meets a key criterion in that guidance for moving to primarily remote learning (e.g., fourteen-day average positivity rate of 21.1 percent for Story County). And your request, including the letter of support co-signed by Les White, director of Story County Public Health, and our consultation with the Iowa Department of Public Health have led us to conclude that it is appropriate to start the school year with primarily remote learning..."
Ames has recently become one of the hotspots for coronavirus activity. Story County is one of the several counties listed in the governor's latest proclamation to shut down bars, breweries, and nightclubs to slow the spread.
The school board plans to meet again following the two weeks to make a decision on what to do based on Story County COVID numbers at that time.
Local 5 will continue to follow this story for any further developments.