Yesterday, as a district, we launched teacher-guided learning with middle and high school students. While this learning remains optional at this time, we were thrilled that in the first 24 hours, over 3,200 middle and high school students logged into Canvas, the district’s learning management platform, to connect with teachers and participate in a variety of learning opportunities.

At the elementary level, teachers have also continued to interact with students and families while supporting student learning. In the past two weeks, Seesaw (the classroom sharing platform used at the elementary level) shows we have had 9,688 parent interactions and 12,121 student/teacher interactions.

We are thankful for the effort students and families have made to continue learning at home – a remarkable accomplishment in these unprecedented times. We are also proud of the commitment and hard work of teachers and administrators as they have re-imagined learning with students in a matter of weeks.

We continue to actively explore the possibility of meeting the requirements from the state to provide required continuous learning. As we do so, we will continue to focus on offering high-quality, voluntary learning opportunities for students.

The requirements from the state pose significant challenges to public schools given the great complexity in the services we provide to the various student populations of all backgrounds, learning needs and experiences.

Please review EACH OF THE 14 ASSURANCES LISTED BELOW, which are required of public districts choosing to provide required continuous learning. These assurances are not required for private, non-public schools.

We fully embrace our mission as a public school district to proudly and unconditionally serve every single student who walks through our doors, and know that in this broad diversity of our district, we find great richness.

In addition to providing educational services, we also remain committed to supporting basic student needs – helping provide meals for students and bridging the connectivity gap for those needing internet access. While we are providing internet hotspots for families needing them, disruptions in the supply chain globally are presenting challenges to obtaining the quantity needed. We will continue to work through these challenges to best meet the needs of our students.

Regardless of the pressures placed upon us all in these challenging times, we remain inspired by our students, families and staff and will continue moving forward together – we are truly #DbqSchoolsProud.

Stay safe and healthy!

Assurances from the Iowa Department of Education to Provide Required Continuous Learning

1. FEDERAL OR STATE LAWS, RULES, AND REGULATIONS: Applicant acknowledges the responsibility to uphold all pertinent federal or state law, rules, or regulations in the delivery of its continuous learning courses or programs, including but not limited to Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Titles I and III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESSA), and the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act. [ADA, Section 504, IDEA, ESSA]

2. EQUITABLE ACCESS AND SERVICES: Applicant assures that:

a. (A) All students with disabilities receiving services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) will continue to be provided with a Free, Appropriate, Public Education (FAPE) in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). Meetings with Individualized Education Program (IEP) teams will be reconvened as necessary to determine placement and delivery of services.
b. (B) All English learners receiving services under Title III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) will continue to receive equitable services.
c. All students living in poverty will receive equitable access to educational services.
d. All students qualifying as homeless under the McKinney-Vento Act will receive equitable access to educational services.

3. TEACHER REQUIREMENTS: All instruction delivered online by the applicant to Iowa students will be delivered by Iowa-licensed and properly endorsed teachers who are assigned to instruct courses in a manner which meets the requirements set forth in Iowa Code 256.41. [Iowa Code 256.41]

4. STANDARDS ALIGNMENT: Applicant’s course content is aligned with the current applicable grade/subject area Iowa academic standards. For courses with content that is not included in state standards, the applicant’s courses are aligned with nationally accepted content standards set for the relevant subjects. [Iowa Code 256.7 subsection 26]

5. CREDIT/CONTENT REQUIREMENTS: Applicant’s current courses meet (and future courses will meet) the credit/content requirements in Iowa Code 256.7(26)(a) and if/when any gaps exist, the gap will be remediated by the district. [Iowa Code 256.7 subsection 26]

6. ADVANCED PLACEMENT: Applicant’s Advanced Placement (AP) courses have been approved via the College Board AP Course Audit.

7. CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION: Applicant’s current and future Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses are aligned to Iowa Code 256.11 and taught by an Iowa-licensed teacher who is also CTE-authorized in the subject area of the course, or has 6,000 hours of hands-on work experience or a BA degree and 4,000 hours of hands-on work experience.

8. FAMILY EDUCATIONAL RIGHTS AND PRIVACY ACT: Applicant’s data management systems ensure all student information remains confidential, as required by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

9. ACCESSIBILITY: Applicant’s web systems must be 508 compliant and conform to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)2.0 levels A and AA for website accessibility. (See World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) website for definition of terms)

10. RESPONSIBILITY: Applicant retains responsibility for the quality of courses, web systems, and content offered, regardless of any third-party contractual arrangements.

11. ASSESSMENT: Applicant agrees to comply with state assessment requirements, as applicable. Iowa Code 256.7(21)

12. REPORTING: Applicant agrees to provide all information as directed or as requested by the Iowa Department of Education and other federal officials for audit, program evaluation compliance, monitoring, and other purposes and to maintain all records for the current year and five previous years.

13. NOTICE OF CHANGES: Applicant agrees to inform, in writing, the Iowa Department of Education of any significant changes to its program including, but not limited to, changes in assurances, fiscal status or ownership.

14. ADDITIONAL ASSURANCES: Applicant agrees to abide by any additional assurances required by the Iowa Department of Education.