Prescott's principal on losing charter: "Disappointed, but resol - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Prescott's principal on losing charter: "Disappointed, but resolved"

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The Dubuque Community School Board voted this week to not renew the charter at Prescott Elementary School.

It was the only elementary school in the state with a charter designation.

The vote was 4-3, and now means things will look a little different next year at the school.

"I'm disappointed," said Prescott Principal Vicki Sullivan about the decision. But she's also feeling, "resolve. Here's where we're at today, let's get on with it. This work that we do with our children is too important to not doing anything but our very best. So let's get our eyes on the kids and keep moving forward."

The expeditionary learning model at the school under the charter has given them more freedom to innovate and choose resources to teach students that other schools might not be able to.

Sullivan said they integrate all the standards into a theme that lasts about a trimester, where they do in-depth studies on that theme and the guiding questions related to it.

And while there are sure to be changes next year without the charter, Sullivan says the student experience won't alter all that much.

"In the 12 years that Prescott has had it's charter status, the district has also evolved to also very much value these same outcomes for all kids. Very experiential based, hands-on, problem-based learning. So in some ways, the district's goals and practices have converged with what was in the original charter."

What will change, she says, is the makeup of the school.

Under the charter, they were required to accept students from anywhere in the district.

Sullivan says those students will be allowed to stay, but now the school will have a more traditional boundary to draw its population from.

Class sizes were also capped under the charter--something that will also change.

Because of the uncertainty of what enrollment will look like next year, Sullivan says it's hard to tell what impacts, if any, there will be on staffing.

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