Return to Learn July 24 Update

Updated Online Schedules 

An area in which we have received a fair amount of feedback is the online schedule for elementary students. Guided by parental feedback and the expertise of our School Improvement Team, we have modified our online elementary schedules. They, as well as the online schedules for all grades, can be found here.


Additional Opportunity to Change of Verify Your Selection for Fall

Work is underway on a solution that will be sent to all families regarding your final decision as it relates to the placement of your child/ren in either an in-person or fully online model this fall. We had originally understood we would be able to reach out only to those who indicated online instruction. We have since learned we can do one more connection with everyone.


We have had ongoing conversations with our transportation service provider and we are getting closer to solutions. As we are working to make final decisions, we are balancing requirements for student transportation, creating a safe riding experience, and working to provide services to families. We will have additional information for you on July 28, as we previously communicated. 

Governor’s Proclamation

As we highlighted last week, on Friday, Governor Kim Reynolds issued a proclamation impacting Return to Learn Plans. We are thankful that Governor Reynolds clarified that families will have the opportunity to voluntarily choose a required remote learning option for their children as we approach the 2020-2021 school year.  This will allow parents to make the best decision for their child(ren) while allowing districts to avoid cuts in state aid that would have a long-term negative impact on local program offerings.  

Beyond that, one of the key portions of the proclamation calls for school districts to seek permission from the Iowa Department of Education for a temporary closure of a school or district. As such, the authority for a school or a district to be fully online has transitioned from the local school board to the Iowa Department of Education in consultation with the Iowa Department of Public Health. We believe this should be a local decision, guided by a local school board, and that the guidance up to this point has indicated it would be. 

The more acute challenge lies in access to information and timing. School districts in Iowa need data and a matrix to guide this decision. Both need to be transparent and able to be quickly implemented. In addition, there has been some indication that the permission would occur in two-week segments. This seems like an incomplete way to think about how this plays out in actual practice. We have been told this guidance and information will be made available by the first week in August. Please know we continue to monitor the situation, look forward to the data and matrix to be provided, and are preparing to pivot to any of our plans to start the school year.

That said, we all play a part in getting back to school this fall. We are working diligently on our Return to Learn Plans and will have them available by the end of next week for Board consideration on August 3. You have been responsive to surveys and have been providing helpful feedback, thank you. Our work has improved over time with your help.

How can you help? 

We want our students and staff members to return to school, safely. We want to return and see the joy our students, parents, staff members, and community experience when school is fully in session. The efforts our community puts forth over the next five weeks will be critical to the success of the Waukee CSD Return to Learn Plan. What we need from you now in order to successfully and safely start the 2020-2021 year:

  • Protect yourself and others from COVID-19
  • Practice physical distancing 
  • Prevent the spread of COVID-19 if you are sick 

Make plans for the Fall:

  • Make a plan for your child(ren) to get to school without having to ride a school bus, if possible, which will reduce risk factors for students that must ride a bus.
  • Start making contingency plans for your child(ren) if the district has to move between remote, in person, and hybrid learning models.

Bond Referendum

On Thursday, the Board voted to approve the petitions that were presented in order to move the bond referendum forward to a public vote on Tuesday, September 8, 2020. For context, 2,185 signatures were required to get this item on the ballot. Just under 2,500 signatures were presented. Over 2,900 signatures came in, however, some were missing the zip code, address, date, etc. on the petition. Thank you to the community members who helped to organize that work and to the 2,900+ community members who signed their name! Information about the referendum can be found here. We also held a Bond Referendum Town Hall on Tuesday, July 22, if you would have an interest in taking a listen to additional details of the plan.

Thank you for your support of the Waukee Community School District, and thank you for doing your part to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our community.