As we continue to provide resources on our website to support students and families, we understand that some of you may have questions. We will update this page as additional information is received.

I have a question not answered here or in the Return to Learn Plan. How can I get an answer?
Please complete this simple form with your question. We will review your questions as quickly as possible, and where possible copy your question and provide our response on the FAQ portion of our Return to Learn website. Return to Learn Question Form

Learning Paths

What change, including timeline, was decided at the December 8 School Board Meeting?

What:  The Southeast Polk School Board voted to return elementary buildings to the Hybrid 1 Learning Model December 14, 2020 – January 15, 2021. All secondary buildings will move to the Hybrid 2 Learning Model December 14, 2020 – January 15, 2021. 

Starting the second semester on January 19, 2021, Preschool -12 Grades will all be in the Hybrid 1 Learning Model.

Who and When:

PK -5 Grade Students – December 14, 2020 – January 15, 2021 Hybrid 1 Learning Model

6-12 Grade Students – December 14, 2020 – January 15, 2021 Hybrid 2 Learning Model

PK – 12 Grade Students – January 19 (Start of 2nd Semester) Hybrid 1 Learning Model

In the Hybrid 1 model, all students learn in-person every day.

In the Hybrid 2 model, students learn in-person in an A/B Schedule – alternating days with some students learning in-person and others remotely:

We will continue to offer Remote Only Learning for families who choose that learning pathway. 

  • The next phase of remote learning will end at semester for secondary students (January 15th) and at trimester for elementary students (February 26th). 
  • More details on the remote learning pathway and the timelines for decision making may be found at this link

Remote Only Learning Pathway

What is Remote Only Learning Pathway? 

In the Remote Only Learning Pathway, all students learn 100% online every day. Students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) will receive accommodations and modifications specific to that student’s plan.

While the students are at home, some ideas can be implemented to help establish an environment for learning.
Below is a graphic from educator Sean Junkins with some ideas for families supporting learning at home.


What can we expect in the Remote (All Online) Learning Pathway?

For more details on what to expect from Remote (All Online) learning, click here: Remote (All Online) Learning Pathway What to Expect

For grade-specific information, including timelines, for the upcoming Remote Learning, click here: Remote Learning Pathway: Next Steps

How will remote (online) learning now be different from this past spring? 

Attendance, participation, and grading are all required in online learning. Students will receive instruction on course and grade-level standards.

If my child has an IEP and we go to online learning will there be an option for my child to have face-to-face time with his teacher? 

Please contact your student’s teacher or your building principal for more information.

What happens if my student gets sick while we are in the Remote Only Learning Pathway? 

If your student gets sick, please report the illness to the school nurse. This information will be forwarded to your student’s teachers for attendance purposes.

Will free meals still be available for all students? 

Yes, free curbside meals for all students will be available. Details to come.

Health Evaluation and Face Coverings

What safety mitigation strategies will be implemented? 

We will continue with our current safety mitigation strategies, with a few adaptations:

  • All efforts will be made to provide social distancing, however, a traditional on-site model will not always allow for the recommended distance. It will be implemented to the extent it is possible.
  • We’ve increased our cleaning efforts by contracting a 3rd party cleaning company to disinfect all school buildings during non-school hours.

Continuation of current safety expectations include:

  • Students and staff should screen for symptoms prior to leaving home. If any illness symptoms are present, you may not attend school.
  • Students should bring personal water bottles: drinking fountains are turned off. Hydration filling stations remain on and we encourage students to use them to stay hydrated.
  • Students and staff will follow the Southeast Polk Health Services  The Use of Facial Coverings as posted on our Website: The Use of Facial Coverings 

What happens if there’s a COVID-19 diagnosis in a school building? 

If a Southeast Polk student or employee is diagnosed with COVID-19, the district will work with local health officials to determine the appropriate next steps. Additional information can also be found at the following link: “Evaluating Sick Students and Staff”

Evaluating Sick Students and Staff

Community Transmission Levels 

What happens if my child gets sick at school?

Using guidance from the Iowa Department of Public Health, school nurses will evaluate all sick students and determine the next steps.  Below are documents our nurses send home in a packet to parents when their students are sent home sick.

Parent Letter for Ill Students COVID 19 Symptoms of COVID 19 10 Things Quarantine vs Isolation

If my child forgets to bring a face covering to school, will one be provided for them to wear?

The district will provide one cloth face covering to each student. The district will also have a supply of disposable face coverings on hand in the event that a student forgets to bring one to school.

Do you expect preschool, kindergarten, and similarly young children to wear face coverings all day? When face coverings are removed I assume children will be able to wash their hands immediately?

Please refer to the information provided in the SEP Return to Learn Plan, Face Coverings Guidelines, or click here.

What’s the difference between quarantine and isolation? 

Here’s a graphic to help explain the difference between quarantine and isolation.Quarantine Vs Isolation 7.22.20

What are the updated guidelines for quarantining? 

The following email and attachment were sent to all families:

Dear Southeast Polk Families,

Recently, the Centers for Disease Control provided two alternative options available for those in quarantine due to having a close contact with an individual testing positive for COVID-19.  Both are explained in the attached document linked here:  Quarantine Options. According to the CDC, the 14-day quarantine remains the best and most optimal time frame, however, certain individuals who remain asymptomatic and meet certain criteria may be able to have a shortened quarantine.

Southeast Polk School District has worked with the Polk County Health Department on how to best implement these shortened options in a school setting.  Your school nurse will be able to provide more information on what a shortened quarantine might look like and help you determine the best quarantine option for your student.

Thank you,

Amy Chebuhar MSN, RN
District Lead Nurse
Southeast Polk School District



My student rides the bus. How will that work this year?

All students will be required to wear a facial covering at all times while riding the bus, and will be assigned at two students per seat.

For more information, please watch these videos about new Transportation Procedures for the start of the 2020-2021 school year.

SEP Seating Procedures

First Time Riders

SEP Bus Cleaning and Disinfecting

Bus Stop Safety 

How do I let the District know that my student NO LONGER needs transportation?

If you signed up for busing services and no longer wish to use this service, please complete this form:

Transportation Cancellation

Other Return to Learn Questions

I wasn’t able to listen to the Family Zoom Session: Supporting Students in All Learning Pathways. Is there a recording? 

Yes, please click here to listen to the informative, 18-minute recording:

Recording: Supporting Students in All Learning Pathways

Follow this link to see the presentation:

Presentation: Supporting Students in All Learning Pathways

How do these plans impact extracurricular activities? 

Extracurricular activities may take place based on guidance from several state and local agencies, including the Iowa Department of Education, Iowa High School Athletics Association,  Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union, and the Central Iowa Metropolitan League.

How will lunch be served? Can students still bring their own lunches? 

Each building will provide families with information about how meals will be served. Students will be able to bring their own lunches. However, outside food like pizza parties or birthday snacks will no longer be allowed into the buildings.

Please contact your building principal if you have any questions regarding how lunch will be handled since it may vary depending on the facilities, the number of students, etc.

How will you enforce social distancing during recess?

Please review the District’s Return to Learn Plan, Outdoor Spaces. 

Could the learning model change during the school year?

Our Return to Learn Plan includes a flexible approach, understanding that as information becomes available about health and safety, we may transition to a different model.

General Information

How can I stay informed with the latest updates and information? 

The best way to stay up-to-date with COVID-19-related and Return to Learn updates from the district is on the SEP website at


o   IDPH

o   CDC

o   IA Dept of Ed

o   Polk County Health Department