Take the stage: Drama, school classes join baseball and softball in June 1 restart

Presenters and a judge look over an exhibit at the Des Moines Public Schools' science and engineering fair held at the Des Moines Science Center in February, 2020. (Photo courtesy of Des Moines Public Schools)

Iowa schools beginning June 1 will be able to offer classes and activities such as drama and science camps, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Thursday. 

High-school baseball and softball seasons were confirmed earlier. 

Ann Lebo, director of the Iowa Department of Education, said the state’s schools will be able to offer summer school, recreational programs, high-school summer sports, and camps for STEM programs (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), robotics, drama and other topics beginning June 1.

Students who aren’t on the high-school softball or baseball teams won’t be able to meet or use the weight room until at least July 1, Lebo said.

Lebo said the decision was made in consultation with the Iowa Department of Public Health “while protecting the health, safety and well-being of our students, families, administrators, educators and staff.”

Schools may still offer online instruction, too, Lebo said. 

All students and staff will be screened when they get to school. Students will be separated within rooms to minimize risk, and instructed to wash their hands regularly for at least 20 seconds. Rooms will be disinfected regularly. 

The rules apply to public and private schools. Decisions on whether to offer in-person classes and activities will be made locally, Lebo said. 

The state plans to revisit protocols before July 1, she added. 

State officials were scheduled to meet with school officials today to discuss rules for reopening.

Van Meter baseball coach Mike Kennedy said at the governor’s news conference that precautions will include not using the dugouts during practice, leaving the bleachers empty during games, and closing concession stands. Shared equipment, if any, will be disinfected. Buses will be parked in favor of new transportation plan, and players likely will forego traditional post-game handshakes or fist bumps.