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CCA declares insufficient space in four schools

No open enrollment at North Bend Elementary
CCA board secretary Lori Robertson, Superintendent Tim Kuehl, and members of the board listen to public comments during the board’s Oct. 15 meeting. (photo by Chris Umscheid)

OXFORD– It’s official. These four schools are out of room.
The Clear Creek Amana (CCA) school board approved the district’s insufficient space policy for the 2015-2016 school year in October.
Superintendent Tim Kuehl recommended the board leave Amana Elementary open for students enrolling in from outside the district (open enrollment) as well as reopening Clear Creek Elementary (CCE) in Oxford to open enrollment students. However, North Bend Elementary in North Liberty will remain closed to open enrollees, and the new elementary currently under construction in Tiffin (slated to open in August) will initially be closed to open enrollment.
The middle school and high school in Tiffin will also be closed to open enrollment under the policy.
“The high school is at 585 (students) right now,” Kuehl said, “with an instructional capacity of 600. Next year the new addition should be done at the middle school, but the current building will be under renovation, so that space won’t be available for classrooms.”
Board president Steve Swenka asked Kuehl about the impact of allowing open enrollment at CCE, “just so we don’t get bottle-necked when those kids get into middle school.” Kuehl said he didn’t know how many would take advantage of it, but would not be offended if the board moved in that direction. “I never mind getting $6,200 (the per pupil monetary amount from the state) of somebody else’s tax money, but the challenge for us is balancing that with our own enrollment.”
“We don’t know what the exact numbers will look like just yet for next year,” CCE Principal Dan Dvorak said. “But there will certainly be room here.” Dvorak said in the past the policy has been families who open enroll have to provide transportation, or get their kids to an existing school bus stop.
“Let’s say we had families from Iowa City that wanted to open enroll; they’d have to get their kids to a transportation point, or bring them all the way to Oxford,” Dvorak explained.
Kuehl’s recommendation passed unanimously.
The policy does not apply to student transfers within the district.