OTTUMWA — Ottumwa Christian School plans to return to school in a face-to-face manner when the school opens for the 2020-21 school year Sept. 2.

According to a press release from the school as well as its ‘return to learn’ outline, students will have the ability to learn and work with a 6-foot distance between their peers.

Each day, students will have a temperature check after they are dropped off in the morning. If a temperature is above 100.4 degrees, that student will be sent home and must be fever-free without medication for 72 hours. If there are any symptoms of COVID-19, neither they nor family members will be allowed to enter.

Students, staff, parents and visitors may wear masks and other physical protective equipment (PPE) “at their own discretion.”

“These times have required creative thinking, nimble planning and a steadfast commitment to our mission,” principal Tracey Menninga said in the return to learn plan. “Our planning team has put in hours discussing critical questions that have led to our plan.”

Should circumstances change and the school be required to switch to an online format for distance learning, Google Classroom will be utilized for all students to review video lessons, obtain assignments and upload student documentation of work, such as pictures and videos. Google Meet will be used for live instruction and classroom/peer interaction.

The school is still determining how to proceed in the event of a positive or suspected positive case in the school.

Other items of note in the plan:

• Despite the plan, there will not be a tuition increase. It will remain the same as it was before the pandemic.

• Hand-sanitizing stations will be added to every entrance and classroom.

• Preschool and elementary students will enter and exit through the south door, while secondary students will enter and exit through the north door. Parents are asked to drop off and pick up students at their designated door.

• Parents and visitors will only be allowed in the building through the front entrance, but only for essential and critical classroom needs, and a temperature check will be administered upon entering.

• There will be no shared supplies among students, and they must bring a water bottle to school as filling stations will be available.

• Field trips will be temporarily postponed, but after-school care will still be available from 3:15-5:30 p.m.

• If a teacher must stay at home due to contact with someone who has been infected with COVID-19, has tested positive, the teacher will teach from home while a substitute will manage the class at school.

The school will continue to adhere to guidelines by the Wapello County Public Health Department, the Iowa Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

School registration will be Friday, as well as Aug. 7 from 3-6 p.m. each day. Call 641-683-9119 to schedule a registration appointment, and the school encourages students and parents to check the school’s website at, and on Facebook at for the latest information.


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