OTTUMWA — More details are coming together on what school will look like for Ottumwa students this fall.

In a Friday update on the Ottumwa schools website, the district echoed that the plan is to return for face-to-face learning Aug. 24 with additional safety precautions in place. “We are also working on a plan for virtual instruction for students who are not able to attend due to underlying health reasons or other concerns,” the update said. “All students with identified needs will be served according to their plans.”

Masks will not be required, the district will support those who choose to wear them.

“There will be changes to classroom routines and physical arrangements within buildings and classrooms,” the statement continues. “Hand sanitizer will be provided in or near every classroom so students can clean their hands regularly when entering and leaving a classroom. Signage will be posted with proper handwashing and cough/sneeze techniques. Custodial staff will continue to disinfect regularly and will follow intensified cleaning procedures when a case of COVID is confirmed.”

To prepare for the possibility of a return to virtual learning, all students will have a district computer assigned to them. “This action allows students to continue learning regardless of whether they are attending school face to face, virtually, or a combination of both,” the district said. Returning high school students already have their devices, and dates and times of distribution for K-8 students will be announced soon.

The district is also working with internet providers to provide quality access to students who currently don’t have internet at home; additional details on that will come later in the summer.

The district reminds parents and students that the situation is ever-changing: “There is a possibility that the learning environment will need to shift due to the pandemic. The district is preparing for continued learning in each scenario: face to face, virtual, or a combination of both.”

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