Governor Kim Reynolds has waived state requirements for high school graduation, so the Class of 2020 isn’t in limbo due to COVID-19 closures. The governor’s order will let students graduate this spring even if they have not completed all their credit hours.
Storm Lake Community School District Superintendent Stacey Cole says teachers and counselors have been reaching out to the senior class in her district since school was closed — to keep them engaged.
“This has been a reminder to me that educators are champions of hope,” Cole says, “and hope is so important when helping kids dream and become something that no one thought that they could be and that social interaction keeps that hope alive in ways that I don’t think we even recognized before.”
Cole says lesson plans for the next school year have to be redone to help returning students make up for the time lost this spring, plus she’s worried about budget issues.
“This is definitely on my list of things that keep me up at night,” Cole says. “…My crystal ball is pretty of cloudy right now, so it’s kind of hard to predict what’s going to happen because I would not have predicted school closures for this length of time.”
Thomas Ahart, superintendent of the Des Moines Public Schools — the state’s largest district, says it will take longer than a month next fall to make up for each month that’s been lost this school year because restoring a routine will take time.
“The interaction with their teachers and the interaction with their peers which is really doing almost as much as the academic learning to really develop the whole child,” Ahart says.
The two superintendents made their comments this weekend on the “Iowa Press” program on Iowa PBS.