Under new Iowa Department of Education rules, no public or private school in Iowa will be required to offer remote learning.

When the pandemic first hit in March of 2020, Iowa schools shut down, then many transitioned to online instruction or a combination of in-person and internet-only school days. A state law passed in February required all districts to offer 100% in-person classes, but several districts still offered parents the option of online classes for their children.

Rules scheduled to go into effect August 4, 2021 state that no school will be required to offer or maintain continuous remote learning or deliver instruction over the internet. There are two exceptions listed. One is if the governor declares another public health emergency. The other is when online classes are most appropriate for students with disabilities.

Students with failing grades have been allowed to participate in high school sports during the pandemic, but starting August 1, the so-called “scholarship rule” will again apply. It means a student who fails a class will have to sit out of athletic competition for 30 days.