SUBSCRIBE We are providing free community access to all of our coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, please consider helping keep your community newspaper strong by subscribing today and receive access to all our work.

Edgewood-Colesburg School District will host a virtual town hall forum Tuesday, July 28, at 6 p.m., to discuss the district’s Return to Learn plan with parents and district stakeholders.

The Zoom address for the forum may be found on the district’s website: www.edge-cole.k12.ia.us. For families that are not able to watch the Zoom forum, the high school music room will be open that evening.

Ed-Co Superintendent Rob Busch said the district is planning for face-to-face learning beginning Monday, Aug. 24.

“Instead of trying to make up for the two months missed of last year, we are going to try to scaffold students up to where they need to be,” he explained. “We will assess and try to catch kids up as best we can.”

Busch said for the time being, face-covering will be recommended, but not required of students.”

He said many of the school days will look much like a normal year without COVID-19. “We are going to give it our best shot to be as normal as possible.” He did say the district would limit school assemblies for the time being.

Busch said the district will recommend face coverings on the school buses. He also said the district is planning for additional cleaning of the buildings.

“We are trying to make sure we have enough cleaning products on hand. We are also looking for an additional custodian or paraprofessional to do additional cleaning. We are trying to make sure we are making our buildings as safe as possible”

He said he consistently hears the same message from district stakeholders. “It seems most people want to get back in school. They want us to make it happen. But we have to be concerned about safety.”

Busch said the district is planning other options if face-to-face learning isn’t possible. “Our hybrid plan is where we may be able to only bring in partial groups. If that’s the case, we need to think about what families need to be linked together and at school on the same days. That’s quite a big puzzle to put together.”

According to Busch, the district leadership team is still finalizing what a hybrid plan could look like. “We are deciding if we do it a week at a time or do it with some in school on Monday and Tuesday, with virtual learning on Wednesday, and other students in school on Thursday and Friday.”

Busch asks parents with specific questions about the plan to email COVID@edge-cole.k12.ia.us.

While Busch knows the plans could change by the time school begins, he’s confident the district can adjust.

“We are going to try something. It may be an ongoing adjustment, but the safety of our students and staff is a priority.”