More students are back in Council Bluffs Community Schools classrooms

Published: Oct. 14, 2020 at 2:13 PM CDT
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COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (WOWT) - For the first 6 weeks of school, Council Bluffs Community Schools students alternated in-person and virtual learning days in what the district called a hybrid model.

But as of Monday morning, more students are back in the classroom 5 days a week.

Superintendent Vickie Murillo says parents had the option to send their kids back into the classrooms Monday through Friday or to keep them in the hybrid learning model.

“It’s very personal and I really felt like parents should make that choice rather than the decision from me to say, ‘all students back and if you don’t want your student back then they’re out,’” said Murillo.

The majority who returned to full-time on-site learning are elementary kids. Murillo says 72% percent are now in the classroom every day.

She says 63% of middle school students are back Monday through Friday, and about half of high school students are. About 15% of students are still learning 100% virtual.

“I thought that was a really good reflection - almost mirrored what our survey told us - that we’d have more elementary parents that felt comfortable,” said Murillo.

She says she tracks COVID cases in the district by checking with each school every day for updates.

In the first 7 weeks, she says less than 1% percent of students and 2% of staff tested positive for COVID.

“We’re really excited and believe we can continue to keep the schools safe and mitigate the spread. We have had no inner-district spread at all. It’s all been from outside exposure.”

Students and teachers are still wearing masks in the buildings, classrooms and hallways are being sanitized every night, and hand sanitizer and handwashing are still being encouraged.

Superintendent Murillo says she salutes the teachers in the district who have adapted to all of the changes this year, so they made this week “teacher appreciate week” in the district.

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