NEWS 1.29.21: IA Gov. Signs In-Person Learning Bill, SCCSD Virtual Program, NE C-19 & Vaccinations

Jan 29, 2021

Credit Facebook/IA Gov. Kim Reynolds

Schools will have to offer in-person classes full-time under a bill signed this morning by Governor Kim Reynolds.

She signed the measure at the state capitol with parents who have pushed for in-person learning.

The law gives school districts until February 15th to transition to all in-person classes.

The Sioux City Community School District announced this week, the Iowa Department of Public Education approved permanent virtual schooling for students in the district. Superintendent Dr. Paul Gausman told Siouxland Public Media on Wednesday says the program will be available for any student in the state of Iowa when it starts this fall.

The Iowa Senate passed the education package prioritized by Governor Kim Reynolds that puts public funding toward independent charter schools and private schools.

Republicans supporting the bill say it gives students in poor-performing schools new options to go somewhere else. Speaker Pat Grassley says he expects the House to take more time to consider the proposal.

The President of the Bishop Heelan Catholic Schools Dr. John Flanery supports the plan and says it will give parents a choice of where to send their children.

“This is a great opportunity for families especially in a blue-collar community like Sioux City that maybe consider sending their children somewhere else to make it a reality.”

You can hear more with Dr. Flanery on school choice this afternoon at 5:44 on “All Things Considered”. He also responds to some statements made by the superintendent of the Sioux City Community School District about private schools.

Weekly COVID-19 Report from the Sioux City Community School District:
For the week of January 25-29:

The Sioux City Community School District has 0 reports of positive COVID-19 cases from students that attended school.

The Sioux City Community School District has 4 reports of positive COVID-19 cases from staff that attended school.

Emergency Response Virtual Learning/Closures During the Week of January 25:

  • No classes were moved to emergency response Virtual Learning this week
    WEEKLY COVID-19 REPORT
    Credit Sioux City Community Schools

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts plans to move Nebraska into a new phase of health measures due to falling COVID-19 hospitalizations. This means all restrictions for businesses will be removed.

Nebraska is at 33% capacity for hospital beds with 341 patients statewide.

Nebraskans who want to sign up for the coronavirus vaccine and get notified when it’s their turn can now register online. The state launched its new registration website, vaccinate.ne.gov. It comes as the state moves into the next phase of vaccinations, covering people who are at least 65 years old and those who are at greater risk because of underlying health conditions.

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services is encouraging people ages 18 to 64 with underlying conditions to sign up, even if they’re already registered on a local health department’s website.

Siouxland District Health is working on setting up a vaccination clinic at the Tyson Events Center when vaccine becomes available during the next phase that includes people 65 years and older.

The South Dakota Department of Health is looking for volunteers to help administer the coronavirus vaccines. Health officials have set up a website where potential volunteers from across the state can register to assist with COVID-19 vaccination efforts. And, volunteers who are willing to help in medical settings may qualify to receive their vaccine early. Volunteers who register on the portal can select what type of volunteer work they are seeking. The DOH says you don’t necessarily have to have a medical background. Applicants will be vetted by DOH before any volunteer opportunities are offered. 

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A 38-year-old Sioux City man who was impaired and texting on his cellphone before he hit a bicyclist who later died has been sentenced to 11 years in prison. Edy Guevara was sentenced after pleading guilty Tuesday to vehicular homicide and operating while intoxicated. Prosecutors said Guevara hit 64-year-old Charles Fluharty on his bicycle in June 2019. Fluharty, who was dragged about 66 feet, died a week later. Guevara also must pay $150,000 in restitution to Fluharty's estate. Court documents say Guevara told investigators he was texting on his phone when he hit Fluharty.