JCSD Hybrid and Online Learning Model Information

(August 04, 2020)

The Johnston Community School District will be offering two learning models this fall: 100% online and a hybrid model. The communication below outlines these learning models for your information. At this time, we will be operating the hybrid model for at least the first quarter of the school year (first nine weeks). Around the six week mark, we will evaluate the health status of our district and community, with a decision to be implemented after the first quarter. The online learning program is a first semester commitment.

Families can choose to switch to online if they start in the hybrid model and change their mind until Friday, September 4, 2020. Changes due to extenuating circumstances after September 4, 2020 must be approved by the school, knowing changes may impact staffing and scheduling. Families cannot switch from online to on-site during the semester because of our need to appropriately plan for staff and facilities.

Hybrid Learning Model

After much consideration, the board voted 5 to 2 to return to school in a hybrid model for grades K-12. In this model, one group of students (purple group) will go Monday, Tuesday, and every other Wednesday. The other group (gold group) will go Thursday, Friday, and the alternate Wednesday. All Wednesday classes will have a 3-hour early dismissal (11:45 a.m. for secondaries and 12:35 p.m. for elementaries). The graphic below visualizes this schedule.

JCSD Hybrid.pdf








On the days when students are not on-site, they will be participating in required online learning, as offered by Edmentum (grades 6-12) and Calvert Learning (K-5). Click here to view the “Edmentum and Calvert Learning” document for information on how work and learning will be completed online. It will also be supported and monitored by a Johnston teacher to ensure students are staying on track.

Hybrid: Schedules for the Purple and Gold Groups

The district has the ability to group students in the same household on the same hybrid schedule. For example, if a household has three children at three different buildings, they will all go to school on the same days. It is our goal to let families know what group they will be in (purple or gold) by the end of next week (no later than August 14).

The first day of the 2020-21 school year is Monday, August 24. Based on the needs of the hybrid schedule, there will be some modifications made to the existing academic calendar. A revised version will be coming in the next week.

Hybrid: Johnston Early Learning Academy Classes

Our early learning classes for 2-, 3-, and 4-year-olds will go back full time and NOT in a hybrid model. Information on early learning classes will be sent directly to parents who are enrolled in those programs.

Hybrid: In-school Health & Safety Measures

When students and staff are in a school building, the following are required practices:

  • Facial coverings that meet CDC guidelines (mask and/or face shield) at all times and especially when social distancing is not possible. Staff and students may wear their own mask and/or shield or be provided one by the district at no cost.
  • Health screenings and symptom monitoring at home. Per the August 3 board meeting, “In order to help mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission, parents, upon registering their child(ren) for in-person school will be required through signed documentation to perform a daily health screen of their child(ren) and will be attesting through their child(ren)’s attendance at school that their child(ren) is/are not exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.” More information on this documentation will be coming soon.

Please review the district’s Health & Safety guide for district-wide guidelines on our health and safety mitigation strategies. Buildings will be communicating specific information with their families.

Required Online Learning: Form and Sign Up – COMPLETE BY AUGUST 6

Families also have the ability to choose to enroll in a 100% required online learning plan, where all work will be done outside of school. This learning is supported by Edmentum (grades 6-12), Calvert (K-5) and Reading Eggs (PreK). Students will complete learning modules that align with the Iowa Core Curriculum. All students will be supported by Johnston teachers who will monitor the online learning progression and provide virtual (Zoom) office hours to check in with students.

Parents should check their email for the form link. You will have to complete a separate form for each of the children in your household you wish to enroll in the 100% required online option. This will allow us to start planning for staffing as needed.

Click here to view a flow chart outlining how some specialized classes will be handled in the online learning model, such as AP courses, labs, and extra curriculars. The online learning form – and family commitment – is for the first semester (through January 12, 2021).

Other Services

Our priority for today’s communication was sharing the board decision with the community and answering/addressing some of the big buckets of questions. We know each family has unique circumstances that may affect how they approach the school year. Please stay tuned to district communications for more information on:

  • Nutrition and how students will have access to food with both learning models
  • Special Education meetings with parents to go over IEPs and how needs will be addressed in both learning models
  • English Language Learners and how ESOL teachers will continue to provide the service they need to grow and progress in language and skill development
  • 1:1 iPad pickup for new students
  • KTC schedules and program offerings