Iowa elementary and secondary schools will be allowed to start prior to August 23rd this fall but ONLY if those school days are in addition to the typical academic year of 180 days.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds included that provision yesterday in a new proclamation she signed to continue the public health disaster emergency in the state. The Gazette reports that part of that proclamation was the suspension of the state law that says Iowa schools may start no sooner than August 23rd. However, the governor's order would only apply to the 2020-21 school year as part of it's 'return to learn' plan. The days would have to be in addition to Iowa's required 180 days, or 1080 hours, of school instruction.

Iowa schools have been closed since March to help stop the spread of COVID-19. High school spring sports were also canceled and summer sports seasons still hang in the balance. The Gazette reports that Governor Reynolds also temporarily suspended the scholarship rule for athletes, saying when school and sports resume, all student-athletes will be academically eligible.

The Gazette says that during a conference call with governors this week, Reynolds also said that it was still a possibility that Iowa students would still be able to participate in summer activities and summer school, possibly as early as June. She added that those decisions would be made only if health data supports the action.

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