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Mason City schools prepare for full-time, in-person learning

MASON CITY — The Mason City Community School District is preparing to move to full-time, in-person classes in two weeks after Governor Reynolds signed a bill last week requiring school districts to provide in-class instruction.

Superintendent Dave Versteeg says provisions are in place in the new law should the district deal with an uptick in COVID-19 cases.  “We’re hoping that really works well and we can stay with it for the rest of year, There still are contingencies for COVID outbreaks and you can ask for continuous learning again, those things are all still in place. But we’ll all be back starting the 17th.”

The law allows schools to continue to offer online classes to students, which Mason City plans to do. Versteeg says the percentage of students doing online learning has decreased through the school year.  “We have some buildings that have less than 20 kids in continuous learning, which is super helpful to manage what teachers are going to do. I would say the group that’s hung in there the most is the high school aged kids. There’s still about 160 kids in high school, about 40 kids a grade, versus like 20 kids for all of Jefferson, less than 20 kids are in continuous learning for five grades.”

The administration of each school building will be sending out a communication to all families by this Friday regarding specifics related to students’ schedule and procedures for requesting continuous or online learning.

Versteeg made his comments during a workshop session of the district’s school board last night. 

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