No one would have guessed rock and roll renegade Alice Cooper was a prophet when he recorded “School’s Out for Summer” in 1972. “School’s out for summer, school’s out forever, school’s been blown to pieces,” the lyrics roared, mostly to the applause of Vietnam War-era, rebellious teens everywhere.
Nobody is applauding. Nobody likes the idea that a worldwide pandemic killed public and private schools. Alice Cooper can pound salt.
On Friday, Gov. Reynolds announced that all schools in Iowa will remain closed through the end of the school year to help prevent the further spread of COVID-19.
This announcement will continue to affect all the Albia Community School District programming, including before-and after-school activities, all athletic and extracurricular practices and competitions, and all weekend events. The Iowa High School Athletic Association and Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union cancelled the spring season (see story on sports page).
Superintendent Kevin Crall said he hoped to receive future guidance from the state regarding summer sports. “For now everything is on hold until future guidance is received. If anything changes regarding athletic practices or competitions, we will communicate that guidance in a timely manner.”
Crall said he hoped to reschedule both prom and graduation for later this summer. “We’re going to need more guidance from the state in order to make a definitive decision on those dates so we keep everyone safe,” he said. He said they intend to form a committee to examine and create options to bring a recommendation to the School Board for a final decision regarding holding these.
“I know the decision to end the 2019-2020 school year has caused a great deal of concern and disappointment for our students, staff, and families,” he said. “The pandemic arrived quickly and when we first were directed to close our school buildings in March, we did not realize it would be the last time we would see our students in person this school year. Please know that we share in your disappointment. I am extremely disappointed for our seniors as I know this is not how they wanted to end their school days at Albia, but these circumstances demand actions and precautions to be made in order to stop the spread of COVID-19.”
In terms of the District Master Calendar, the last day of school for seniors is Friday, May 15, and for the rest of the student body is Wednesday, May 27. “We will continue with virtual learning until these dates, just as we have over the past several weeks,” Crall said. “We plan on continuing to adapt our instruction based on guidance and regulations from state education officials. We encourage all families to keep their students engaged in these activities to ensure learning continues to take place through the end of the school year. Our staff is ready to assist all families in these efforts, as well.”
Crall said the district family support in engaging students in the learning resources we have provided. “Doing nothing from March 16 to Aug. 25 will not prepare children to be successful next school year,” said Crall. “Our staff is here to help you bridge this gap. We will also be planning transition events for students who will be entering a new building next year to help our students adjust.”
Crall said the district will try to continue providing school lunch services through the extended school closure until May 27. He said the Food Bank at Lincoln would continue during this time period as well.