School Talk 7 'Xtra with Gladbrook-Reinbeck superintendent - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

School Talk 7 'Xtra with Gladbrook-Reinbeck superintendent

This week's School Talk 7 'Xtra features Tim Kuehl from Gladbrook-Reinbeck Community School District. This week's School Talk 7 'Xtra features Tim Kuehl from Gladbrook-Reinbeck Community School District.

This week's School Talk 7 'Xtra features Tim Kuehl from Gladbrook-Reinbeck Community School District.

Tim has spent five years with the district and will soon be joining Clear Creek-Amana Schools this summer.

Tim talked with "Today in Iowa's" Jason Carter about a variety of things, including his next career move and a partnership with small school districts that's exposing students to real life options.

Jason Carter: What is "Cedar Valley West?"
Tim Kuehl: Cedar Valley West is a collaborative effort between the Gladbrook-Reinbeck, Aplington-Parkersburg, Dike-New Hartford, and Grundy Center school districts. The purpose of the efforts is to provide students with meaningful internships, job shadowing and field trip experiences for our students. In addition to providing students with information about the skills and routines for jobs of interest to them, the program is raising awareness of the variety of jobs in our area.  
Jason Carter: What other schools could benefit by implementing a similar partnership?
Tim Kuehl: This sort of partnership can really be a benefit to nearly any school district, especially our smaller, rural districts. It allows each of our districts to provide opportunities for students that might otherwise be cost-prohibitive.
Jason Carter: Why don't more academic programs incorporate internships, job shadowing, etc.?
Tim Kuehl: Traditionally, high school courses have been all about "seat time." Carnegie Units are still a huge driver of how high school schedules are established, ensuring that students have the required seat time in class. Through moving to a trimester system, we have been able to create space for students to take advantage of upper-level courses, courses specific to career and technical education programs, and internships in their junior and senior years of high school. Feedback from students, parents and businesses has been very positive.
Jason Carter: Do you join other superintendents in shock and disgust on the legislature's inability to set allowable growth?

Tim Kuehl: The situation with Education Reform and Allowable Growth has been very frustrating. I would love to have these issues resolved, so that even if I don't completely agree with the legislature's action, our district can plan to meet the goals established for us within a known budgetary amount. We have not allowed the lack of action to prevent us from implementing great programs and supporting student learning. But knowing these targets would allow us to better plan for the education of our students.
Jason Carter: What summer programs have you found to be the most successful for students?
Tim Kuehl: At G-R we have implemented successful summer programs for students that support learning in half-day sessions over a four-week period in the summer. At the lower levels, these programs are designed to continue student learning over the summer in a supportive, enjoyable environment staffed by certified teachers. At the high school level, the summer program consists of students receiving support in completing curriculum work online in order to recover credits and ensure student are on pace for graduation.
Jason Carter: What's been your favorite moment in your five years at GBR?
Tim Kuehl: I struggle to pick a favorite moment. My favorite part of G-R is how supportive the staff, Board of Education, parents and community are of providing opportunities for our students. We have built daycare facilities in collaboration with the cities of Gladbrook and Reinbeck, implemented 1:1 computing at the high school (and will be at the middle school), as well as all the Cedar Valley West work. Being a part of that environment has been a fantastic experience.
Jason Carter: What will be different for you at Clear Creek-Amana next year?
Tim Kuehl: As far as the challenges of providing an exemplary education for students, the work will be much the same. The biggest difference for me will be planning for and dealing with growing enrollment. Currently, CCA is the fourth-fastest growing district in Iowa. That's a challenge that I'm excited to face with the staff, Board, and communities of CCA.
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