Possible year round classes in the works in Eastern Iowa

Thursday, June 19, 2003

Two eastern Iowa school districts are considering switching to year-round classes.

Administrators in the Pleasant Valley district said a high level of community support - as much as 80 percent - is needed before the change could be considered.

"If we are going to move forward with this, I think we ought to set a level of what we will accept as indication that the community supports this," Superintendent Spelhaug said.

A survey of district residents showed that 30.7 percent supported the change, while 37.6 percent preferred the current system.

The district includes parts of Bettendorf and Riverdale, Panorama Park and LeClaire.

The school board plans to have a timeline for a decision by July 7. They are among the first districts in Iowa to consider the change.

Most parents who attended the board's meeting on Monday didn't support the change.

"There are no reliable statistics to indicate that a calendar change will improve test scores in secondary schools, partly because so few secondary schools choose this concept," Joanne Messman said.

Erica Thornton, who will be a senior at Pleasant Valley High School, supports the change.

"All of the kids I've talked to had positive feedback about the balanced calendar," she said. "It's hard to come back from Christmas break for two days and then take finals."

The Bettendorf school board met Monday for preliminary discussion of the change to a year-round calendar.

Board members said they would have more information on the district's next move by summer's end.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: