Photo of the COVID-19 Coronavirus provided by the National Park Service.

On Sunday, March 15, the Cedar Rapids Community School District announced it would close its schools for four weeks due to COVID-19, or coronavirus.

The district is following the recommendation from Iowa’s Gov. Kim Reynolds to close all schools in the state for four weeks. This is an attempt to stop the possible spread of coronavirus through the school system.

Superintendent Noreen Bush sent an email to district families on Sunday to communicate this information.

“Thank you for your understanding and patience,” Bush said in the email. “We are a strong, vibrant, supportive community. It will be crucial that we work together through these unprecedented times.”

High school sophomores and juniors were scheduled to take the PreACT and ACT respectively on March 24. The district has not communicated any plans to reschedule the tests at this time.

“Our district leaders have been working closely with state, county, and city officials to determine best steps to support the safety and health of our community,” Bush stated. “We have also been collaborating with other school districts to make decisions, informed by guidance from Linn County Public Health and now by Governor Reynolds’ recommendations. We will be working to communicate more details to families and staff regarding our next steps as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

It’s currently unknown how the school district plans to make up for the canceled school days.

The Iowa Department of Health reported 22 positive cases of coronavirus in the state so far. The department expects the number to rise in the coming weeks due to expanded testing options.

“Feelings of anxiety and uncertainty are likely and understandably high at this time as you wonder what next steps shall be [next] for our students, staff, community and for the health and safety of those in your immediate family,” Bush’s email stated. “I assure you that the safety and health of our Cedar Rapids Community School District family and supporting our entire Cedar Rapids community is our greatest priority in these times.”