Virtual Learning Instruction: Emergency Response

Virtual Learning occurs when a decision is made by the Iowa Department of Education, in consultation with the Iowa Department of Public Health, for an emergency closure of a building and/or buildings. If a single building closes due to a COVID-19 outbreak and there is a need for sanitization, the students and staff in that building will immediately transfer to Virtual Learning. If there is a wider outbreak of COVID-19 and multiple or all buildings close, the students and staff in all affected buildings will immediately transfer to Virtual Learning.

Virtual Learning may also be utilized for single classrooms to mitigate COVID-19 exposure beyond the classroom. The superintendent will make the decision to close a single classroom in consultation with state and local public health departments.

With proper notification, Virtual Learning may be implemented in the event of inclement weather, rather than canceling school. The decision to move to Virtual Learning because of inclement weather will be made by the superintendent.


At the beginning of the year, students will be taught procedures that will include accessing Outlook e-mail, accessing Outlook calendar, joining Teams meetings, participating appropriately during instruction delivered through Teams, accessing the District “landing page” that holds the District supported and most commonly used programs/applications, accessing and navigating within Canvas or Seesaw, and accessing the help desk for technical questions or problems.

View technology resources for guidance and support. 

One-to-One Device Program

The Sioux City Community School District has a one-to-one device program. All students in grades 6-12 receive a laptop. Elementary students receive an age-appropriate device. Each device is the property of the District. If Virtual Learning is implemented as an emergency response, each student will take his or her device home. Students will be required to use the device for various class and curriculum activities. All appropriate use policies for technology use apply. Students will be required to follow policies and procedures defined in the acceptable use agreement.


All teachers in the Sioux City Community School District will receive professional development to prepare for instruction in a Virtual Learning environment. Revised curriculum maps and pacing guides include resources for teachers to use during Virtual Learning implementation. The use of revised curriculum maps ensures that grade-level material with appropriate rigor is delivered consistently across all buildings during Virtual Learning implementation.

Instruction provided to students during Virtual Learning will be required to be completed with attendance taken by teachers, grades issued, and credit awarded. Students will receive instruction from high-quality Sioux City Community School District Virtual Learning instructors.

All TK-12 teachers use a common learning management system during Virtual Learning, such as Canvas or Seesaw. All TK-12 teachers use Microsoft Teams for virtual meetings and instruction. The Teams meetings will be created, and students will join the meetings through Teams Calendar.  The consistency in processes benefits students and families during Virtual Learning.

The items on this school supply list will be necessary for students to fulfill learning assignments this year.

We recognize each student will have unique needs in preparing for this school year’s grade-level learning. Our educators are ready to scaffold and differentiate instruction to help each student learn the critical concepts necessary to be grade-level proficient. We are committed to the success of each student. During the first month of the 2020-2021 school year, assessments will be administered, and data analysis conducted to determine the educational level and proficiency of students. The data will help educators make informed decisions to serve each student’s individual learning needs.

The following assessments will be used to make programming and placement decisions: IGDIs for literacy and math for preschool students, FAST literacy assessment for students in grades TK-5, FAST math assessment for students in grades TK-5, District-developed BME math assessment for students in grades 6-12, Rapid literacy assessment for students in grades 6-8, Open Response writing assessments in grades 9-12 and the District-developed pre-assessment in literacy for students in grades 2-12. Assessment results will be shared with parents at the fall parent-teacher conferences.