Cedar Rapids schools will be able to start the school year with all online classes

  • 117


School districts, like Cedar Rapids Community Schools, whose buildings were badly damaged by the Aug. 10 derecho will be able to start the school year with all online classes, Gov. Kim Reynolds said during her news conference on Thursday.

“On Friday, we’ll be updating our existing disaster proclamation to accommodate the needs of those schools as they begin the 2020-21 school year,” the governor said.

Reynolds said 14 school districts had reported significant damage to their school building.

In an update for district families on Thursday, CRCSD Superintendent Noreen Bush said, “Within our school district, all buildings have damage. Some not as much as others, but attention none the least. There is major tree damage at all buildings. We have significant roof damage at 16 buildings, minor roof damage at 12 buildings, and puncture damage and hood damage at the other 6. There is water and structural damage in many buildings that had major roof damage.”

Bush said the start of the school year will be delayed, but a new starting date cannot be determined until there is “a building assessment for 30 properties [and] a confirmation that the City’s infrastructure is secure.”

On July 17, Reynolds announced that all schools in Iowa must provide at 50 percent in-person instruction to students, unless they receive a waiver to from the Iowa Department of Education to use more than 50 percent online instruction for a limited period of time. On July 30, the governor announced that districts could only qualify for a waiver if the county their schools are located in have a 14-day average positivity rate of 15 percent or higher in its COVID-19 tests, and an absentee rate of 10 percent at a school. Waivers would also only be good for two weeks.

The Iowa City Community School District and the Iowa State Education Association, which represents approximately 30,000 educators statewide, filed a lawsuit seeking to invalidate the governor’s order and allow local school boards to make decisions regarding how their schools operate during the pandemic.

The change the governor promised to make on Friday will allow school districts with damaged buildings to switch to online education without have to apply for a waiver every two weeks.

“The proclamation will permit those districts whose school buildings have been damaged by the derecho to move to primarily remote learning while they repair their buildings and for students and teachers to return safely,” Reynolds said on Thursday.

  • 117
Thoughts? Tips? A cute picture of a dog? Share them with LV »


Iowa City Book Festival

Oct. 18-24

A celebration of books, writing and ideas

Find Out More


Summer Programs 2020

Get 150+ local restaurants delivered to your door in the Iowa City & Cedar Rapids areas!

The Future is Unwritten

You look to Little Village for today’s stories. Your sustaining support will help us write tomorrow’s.


$10/mo or $120/year
The cost of doing this work really adds up! Your contribution at this level will cover telephone and internet expenses for one month at the LV editorial offices.


$20/mo or $240/year
$240 is enough to cover one month’s costs for sending out our weekly entertainment newsletter, The Weekender. Make a contribution at this level to put a little more oomph on your support and your weekend.


$30/mo or $360/year
(AUTO-RENEW) connects eastern Iowa culture with the world. Your contribution at this level will cover the site’s hosting costs for three months. A bold move for our boldest supporters!

All monthly and annual contributors receive:

  • Recognition on our Supporters page (aliases welcome)
  • Exclusive early access when we release new half-price gift cards
  • Access to a secret Facebook group where you can connect with other supporters and discuss the latest news and upcoming events (and maybe swap pet pics?) with the LV staff
  • Invitations to periodic publisher chats (held virtually for now) to meet with Matt and give him a piece of your mind, ask your burning questions and hear more about the future plans for Little Village, Bread & Butter Magazine, Witching Hour Festival and our other endeavors.