Parents with children in the Cedar Rapids Community School District have a big decision to make. The district is asking them to decide by August 5th on whether they want to send their kids to school for in-person learning or keep them home for online instructions.

The Gazette reports that school leaders are hopeful that enough parents choose the online learning option for their kids, that class sizes can be kept to around 12 to 15 students in the elementary schools. That will help with social distancing. But school board members stressed they don't want parents to feel guilty about sending their kids to school.

The district will release its final return to learn plan on Friday and then families will have until August 5th to make that important decision. The Gazette reports that the district did announce some changes to its original plan on Tuesday. In-person pre-K through 5th grade will attend in-person learning five days a week, spending most of that time with a homeroom teacher. All students will wear face shields provided by the school district.

Middle school students will also attend school five days a week, and have masks required. Those masks will be provided by the school district. The Gazette says that students will have an advisory teacher with specialty teachers coming into the classroom either physically or virtually to provide instruction.

Cedar Rapids high schoolers who choose in-person learning will attend classes at their school two days a week with online learning the other days. The students will be divided into two groups and take classes on a block schedule. The Gazette reports that a change to this plan has each group taking the same three to four classes one week, and then switching to another three or four classes the next week. This will reduce half a teacher's exposure to a different group of students.