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Dear Riverside Staff, Student and Parents

Riverside Community School District would like to share our plan for reopening for the 2020-2021 school year. We would like to get you as much detail as we can about our plan but know that things could change on a regular basis before Monday August 24, 2020.  This is what we believe is our best information as of right now. There are some final details and logistics to work out but this will give you a framework so you can begin your planning. 

Our work has focused on the premise that we want students back in our buildings. We recognize the difficulties placed on families when we are not physically present at school and the importance of the social, emotional, and behavioral support we can provide when students are in our buildings. Also please know that these plans can change. Our District Leadership Team and School Board will continue to implement and monitor best practices from local, state, and federal agencies to help make final decisions as information comes forward that could change our plan. 

Our plan consists of three ways we could provide learning for the next school year. We recognize that this information can raise many questions and we would ask that you please communicate your questions with the district at 712-484-2212 or tmitchell@riverside.k12.ia.us. 

Scenario 1: Traditional In Person

Riverside will start school by providing on-site educational services as part of their Return-to-Learn Plan, as long as it is deemed safe by public health officials.

School starts on August 24, 2020. Students report every day to their usual classes: 

OES 8:30 AM-3:25 PM-Early Dismissal-Wed 2:25 PM

CES 8:20 AM-3:25 PM-Early Dismissal-Wed 2:25 PM

MHS 8:20 AM-3:20 PM-Early Dismissal-Wed 2:20 PM.

Oakland Elementary and Carson Elementary will implement the Bubble Strategy-All students’ return but are kept in one room together all day, even for breaks and lunch.  Different teachers rotate to classrooms.  This is the CDC recommended approach.

Middle School and High School will implement spread mitigation strategies taking into consideration the need to move from class to class throughout the day.

 Implement School Calendar-Adopted March 16, 2020

  • Registration at Middle/High School Building- 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM-Monday August 10, 2020-Face Coverings will be required-one person from each family limit in building.  Please take the opportunity to complete the Free/Reduced Lunch Application prior to registration.
  • New Teacher Workshops--Monday/Tuesday August 17-18, 2020
  • All Staff Members Return--Wednesday August 19, 2020
  • Professional Development –Pre Service--Wednesday August 19-Friday August 21
  • Open House--Thursday August 20, 2020 (To Be Determined)
  • First Day of School--Monday August 24, 2020

School starts on August 24, 2020. Students report every day to their 

Schools will operate under CDC guidelines/Iowa Department of Education/ Iowa Public Health, Pottawattamie County Public Health and Pottawattamie County Emergency Management for disinfecting, social distancing and face coverings. 

Scenario 2: Hybrid Plan 

Riverside will also offer a plan to provide educational services through a hybrid model of Continuous Remote Learning and On-Site Learning. We know there may be some students who, because of medical considerations, will choose to not attend school in person. We will work with those students/families to continue to provide education. The Board has passed Board Policy 501.9-Student Absences-Excused it includes Board Policy 501.9E1-Request for Remote Learning Form for parents to submit if they want the district to consider providing remote instruction.

This plan can also be used if we are required to go to a reduced in person enrollment plan.  This will be if large groups of students are required to be remote learning and others are in school with alternating schedules.

Scenario 3: Remote Learning

Riverside has developed a plan for offering Continuous Remote Learning and requiring the participation of students as schools reopen for the 2020-21 school year.  This plan will be in place if a recommendation to close the entire district is required. We are all hoping that this plan will not need to be enacted; however, it is logical that we need to plan for this possibility.

The Plan has 5 parts:

  • Define Staff and Student Expectations
  • Identify Your Delivery Platforms
  • Communicate with Internal and External Stakeholders
  • Ensure Professional Development/Teacher Competency
  • Define and Ensure Student Access

General Mitigation Efforts

  • Daily home screening of students and staff-stay home if sick
  • Face Coverings required for students and staff-with accommodations if needed
  • Social Distancing-Signage throughout the building
  • Limit large groups and capacity in large spaces (Cafeteria, Gym and Auditorium)
  • Routine Hand washing and sanitizing
  • Enhanced cleaning during the day
  • Minimize student movement
  • Limit outside visitors during the school day

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Face Coverings will be required by all staff and student
  • Exemptions only for religious or medical reasons
  • Frequent breaks outdoors will be provided for students. Face Coverings will not be required outside. 
  • District will supply face coverings to staff and students--District will have face coverings available for staff and student use
  • Why require face coverings? As we focus on keeping students and staff safe and in school as long as possible, face coverings are a critical factor. In the event that a student at school tests positive for COVID-19, wearing face coverings is a key factor in determining what other students and staff need to be quarantined or removed from school and activities. Face coverings will help keep students and staff safe and keep students in school!
  • Built in face covering breaks for all students and staff.  Face covering breaks will take place outside or in a designated area where social distancing can be accommodated

Social Distancing

  • Schools may not be able to guarantee that social distancing can be met at all times
  • Efforts will be made to social distance to the greatest extent possible


  • Oakland and Carson Elementary students will eat meals in the classroom
  • Grade 6-12 students will eat meals in small groups with social distancing requirements 


  • Consider alternate modes of travel
  • Face Coverings will be required
  • No food or drink will be allow on Bus
  • Mandatory seating charts will be implemented
  • Windows will be open if weather permits

Very soon you will be receiving a link to a survey that will ask all staff, students and families to provide information in regard to their intentions to:

  • Attend in-person or remotely
  • To participate in the lunch program
  • To ride the bus in the morning and/or afternoon 

Please be thinking about those things so you are prepared to answer. 

We hope our plans balance the need to have students physically present at school with the need to provide a safe and healthy learning environment. We need your patience and support as we work through this difficult situation and we commit to doing our best to serve the students and families of our district. Thank you for taking the time to read this information. Please know we are continuing to work hard to add more detail as guidance evolves and are committed to communicating that as soon as we have it. 

More detailed information can be found in the following documents that will be regularly updated and can be found on our website (www.riversideschools.org)

  • Riverside Plan for Required Continuous Learning
  • Link to Frequently Asked Questions
  • Riverside Health/& Safety Guidelines and Expectations for Traditional In-Person Reopening
  • Riverside School Board Resolution Regarding School Reopening
  • Riverside Pandemic/Infectious Disease Plan
  • School Board Policy 501.9-Student Absences-Unexcused

Hybrid and Remote plans will continue to be expanded as we move closer to Monday August 24, 2020 start date. Building administration is putting together a "Day in the Life of a Student" and "A Day in the Life of a Teacher" videos to share.

Everything posted is subject to change!!