Waterloo School Board discusses several major topics - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Waterloo School Board discusses several major topics


WATERLOO (KWWL) -- There are several major changes on the table for Waterloo Community Schools. School board members have several topics to consider in the coming weeks, including where your children go to school next year, and even, what they might be wearing.

The Waterloo School Board discussed three major topics at a meeting Wednesday night, and there are more planned for their next meeting. It all starts, with plans to close Black Hawk Elementary. The district is merging Black Hawk and Edison schools to create West Elementary. Wednesday night board members voted unanimously to construct the new building at the same site as the current Black Hawk building. This means the district may have to purchase nine homes. At least half of the homeowners say, they're willing to consider it, as long as they receive a fair price.

"At this point it's very much, let's see who is interested, let's talk to them, let's get appraisals done. We want to offer a fair price for anyone who is willing to sell," explained Sharon Miller, Waterloo Community Schools representative.

The district is taking advantage of this merge to re-evaluate the current elementary school boundaries. A committee has developed a plan to even out the number of kids in each building. It also takes into consideration diversity, poverty levels, and transportation needs.

"We're really in the proposal stage. We ask people to take a look at the website to see the map, see what they think, give us some feedback," said Miller.

The school board is asking for that community feedback at a public hearing on Monday, April 12th. The same day, they're looking at a possible district-wide uniform policy. Board members are not taking any action on the dress code at this point, but may in the near future.

"The Board could certainly decide to move forward with uniforms, or as the high schools are considering, restricted dress codes, once they get more information, including feedback from parents," Miller noted.

Also Wednesday night, Superintendent Gary Norris filled board members in on some staffing changes. The principal at Lincoln Elementary is being replaced. The school was recently identified as "persistently low achieving," and this was one of the requirements for the district to receive funding in the future. She will still have a position in the district.

The school board will start discussions at 4:00 PM Monday, April 12. Their first topic is the uniform policy. At 5:00 they'll hold a public hearing on the new elementary school boundaries. The regular board meeting starts at 6:00.

Monday, April 26th is the final public hearing for district boundaries. It is also at 5:00PM. Board members are expected to take a vote at their regular meeting the same night.

Online Reporter Colleen O'Shaughnessy

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