After the derecho that damaged every building in the Cedar Rapids School District, many parents and students wondered when school would finally be able to start. The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports that the district announced on Wednesday that the first day of school will be on September 21st, with middle school and high school students beginning the year with classes online.

The Gazette reports that under the new start date of September 21st, elementary students would be able to start in the return to learn option chosen by families earlier this month. Students will either start online or on a hybrid schedule that they chose. However, middle school and high school students will start the year with classes all online, even if they chose the hybrid learning model earlier in the year. Metro High School is the exception and will have in person learning to start the year.

In an email sent out to families on Wednesday, the Gazette reports that the district informed parents that 18 buildings are safe for elementary students to return to. The other buildings that were damaged more severely will be phased in as they become approved for re-entry during the first semester of classes. The Gazette reports that buildings in the district need to be physically accessible and safe to at least 75% capacity to be used for in-person learning.

The district also did receive a waiver from the Iowa Department of Education to maintain the current last day of school as June 1st, 2021.

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