The Cedar Rapids Community School District (CRCSD) will offer two options to families in the next academic year.
For the 2021-22 school year, students will be able to choose between in-person learning or online learning through the Cedar Rapids Virtual Academy (CRVA), Superintendent Noreen Bush said during the Board of Education’s Monday meeting. The CRVA will be the only online learning option available, Bush added.
Bush said she expects most families to select the fully in-person learning option and shared that the district will continue to have mitigation measures in place, including wearing face masks. In-person students and staff have been required to wear face masks in classrooms and on the bus during the current academic year.
“At this point in time, the communications that we’ve gotten from Linn County Public Health and the CDC is that masking is still one of those number-one mitigators,” Bush said. “So at this point in time, we believe that will continue to be expected for in-person.”
Social distancing will also be practiced, but instead of six feet, students will be at least three feet apart. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published updated guidance for K-12 schools last month that recommends social distancing of at least three feet if masks are worn.
There will also be an emphasis on handwashing, hand sanitizing and reminding students not to touch their face, Bush added.
The CRVA, which was an option for students in 6th through 12th grades, has been expanded to be an option for all K-12 students. Ernie Cox will be principal of the CRVA in addition to being principal of Madison Elementary, Bush said.
“Those are our employees, our teachers delivering that instruction on the screen, as well as using some other supplemental materials that we’ve been able to push through this year to support our kids,” Bush said, adding that more information will be provided to families this week.
Bush said the district did light surveying last winter of what students might want for the upcoming academic year. She said close to 200 students indicated that they were interested in the online option through CRVA.
Deputy Superintendent Nicole Kooiker added that the district will begin to survey families later this week and should have more definite numbers by the next board meeting, which is scheduled for Monday, April 26.