Cedar Rapids student selected for Iowa Department of Education’s state equity committee

CEDAR RAPIDS — Kennedy High School student Rahma Elsheikh — a student leader in getting the Cedar Rapids school board to pursue anti-racism efforts — was one of seven Iowa students to be selected for the Iowa Department of Education’s state equity committee.

The committee’s mission is to ensure equity in education. Its goals include preparing educators to teach in inclusive and diverse classrooms; ensuring continuing education for educators and leaders to achieve equitable outcomes; attract, recruit, retain and promote educators who represent the student population they serve; and develop partnerships with underserved students and families to drive policies, practices and resources that are equitable to close the educational gap.

“I have experienced firsthand the racism, negligence, and lack of representation and only having one Black teacher,” said Elsheikh, 17.

Elsheikh’s experience as a high school student in Cedar Rapids started at the beginning of President Donald Trump’s term in

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More than 10K Grand Rapids students enrolled in-person learning as districts shifts from online-only

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – More than10,000 Grand Rapids students have opted to take in-person classes this fall as the district plans to shift from online-only learning, officials said Friday, Oct. 2.

After conducting virtual learning for the first five weeks of the school year, the district will now also offer hybrid in-person learning as well as 100% virtual classes for the remainder of the calendar year.

School leaders asked parents last week to choose between the two learning options, hybrid and virtual. The deadline to respond was Monday, Sept. 28.

About 53 percent of respondents, or 5,201 students, chose hybrid learning, district leaders said. Another 5,315 students were automatically placed in the hybrid learning plan after not responding to the commitment letter, for a total of 10,516 students enrolled in hybrid classes.

Grand Rapids Public Schools is the largest district in West Michigan with more than 15,000 students. The hybrid

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