***The Iowa Standard is an independent media voice. We rely on the financial support of our readers to exist. Please consider a one-time sign of support or becoming a monthly supporter at $5, $10/month - whatever you think we're worth! If you’ve ever used the phrase “Fake News” — now YOU can actually DO something about it! You can also support us on PayPal at news[email protected] or Venmo at Iowa-Standard-2018 or through the mail at: PO Box 112 Sioux Center, IA 51250

On Friday, January 29, Governor Reynolds signed into law Senate File 160, which required districts to offer full-time, in-person learning as an option to parents. Schools have until February 15th to come into compliance with the new law. Schools must let parents know that they now have this option for their child to go back to school full-time for in-person instruction and give families five days to make their decision. The Department of Education stated in their guidance that nothing in that language should cause any delay from school’s being prepared to go in-person on February 15.

Schools still have the ability to offer an online or hybrid option, but they also must offer an in-person option as well. Some districts had ignored pleas from parents to offer 100% in-person as an option.  Instead of dismissing those concerns, this puts families and students first.

I believe that a return to 100% in-person school is a top priority.  With this bill now state law, families can rest more easily knowing their child is going to receive a quality in-person education which is clearly not just about academics, but mental health as well. Parents do not have to pick between work to earn money for their family or staying home to make sure their child is logged onto their computer. Kids can see the faces of their teachers and friends and return to normal.

Author: Tom Jeneary