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G-R Happenings Happy 2012!!

January 13, 2012
Northern-Sun Print
One of the things that is going on this time of year is calendar development for the next school year. Over the past couple of years the four schools associated with the Western Outreach Center, WOC, have worked to have similar calendars. Looking at the 12-13 school year, we believe it’s time to commit to a virtually common calendar for all four districts. This is necessitated through the sharing of instructors at the WOC and between districts; G-R shares an English teacher, Miss Wagner, with Grundy Center. Currently classes at the WOC are held based on the teacher’s schedule. So, students from the other schools might need to attend even when their school doesn’t have classes that day. And, students might not have class, because their teacher is at in-service, or on a break, when their school is in session. A truly common calendar would eliminate these issues. Another benefit of a common calendar is the ability for our staffs to collaborate during professional development time. This would be especially helpful for high school teachers. Currently our districts have one, or two teachers in any given curricular area, by having common professional development days it creates the opportunity for four to eight teachers of the same subject to collaborate on lessons. It would also give us the ability to pool our resources in bringing in training for our staffs. The North Iowa Cedar League has had a common professional development day for several years and teachers report a great benefit in the time to work with their peers from other districts, but once a year isn’t enough to get the maximum benefit. Currently the districts are looking at a calendar very similar to our current one for the 12-13 school year. The superintendents will be meeting in the near future to work at finalizing a proposal to take to our boards. One thing we’ll be considering is moving the start date back to after the State Fair. In order to accomplish that we would need to move graduation back to Memorial Day weekend, and/or shorten/eliminate Spring Break. In the 13-14 school year we are considering a different format for our calendar. The draft we are working off of at this point starts on August 28, 2013. First trimester would end on November 22nd, with the week of Thanksgiving being a break. Christmas break would be December 23rd-January 3rd. Second Trimester would end on March 7th, with Spring break March 10th-14th. The Third Trimester would then on June 11th, graduation would be June 8th. The thinking behind this calendar is that it would provide some breaks at the end of each trimester for students and staff to recharge prior to the next round of classes, as well as shorten the break over the summer to some extent, when we see significant decline in academic skills for many kids. There would be some professional development time built into the breaks for teachers to work collaboratively between districts throughout the year. I welcome feedback from patrons on the start and end dates for the 11-12 school year, as well as the possibility of a different calendar in 13-14. Please feel free to email your thoughts to me at:, or call me at: 319-345-2712. Sincerely, Tim Kuehl, Superintendent


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