WATERLOO, Iowa (KWWL) – Another day of no school for students at Waterloo East High School all thanks to a power failure. The big question is: does it mean your kid is going to see another day of school in June?
As of right now, the answer to that question is no. Administrators and teachers said all these missed days really hurt what students are able to learn.
“The situation with the weather, with the roof, with the power. You can’t really do anything about that,” said Dr. Jane Lindaman, superintendent of Waterloo Community Schools.
It was another school-free day for students at Waterloo East after a power transformer failed and forced the district to dismiss students.
Lindaman said the good news is it isn’t affected the school calendar just yet.
“Districts have to calculate the hours based on the school that has attended the least,” she said.
Following a roof collapse last week, Lowell Elementary holds the spot of school attended the least after students missed several days until they could be settled at their new location along Cedar Heights Drive.
Iowa State Code sets the rules for required classroom time: either 180 days or 1,080 hours. The state also isn’t planning on budging on that number either, meaning everyone has to figure out how to make sure the kids get that class time.
“Districts all over the state of Iowa are being extremely creative in order to meet the minimum and we will too. We will too,” Dr. Lindaman said.
It’s not the hours that worry Lindaman though. As a mother herself, she worries the most about the education the children are getting and what they are able to retain with the missed days.
“What causes me to lose sleep at night is best practice for teaching and learning. When students miss school, the constant interruptions this winter really impact student learning,” she said.
The district at the moment doesn’t have plans of extending the school year. They have already converted three teacher work days into days of student attendance.
Another concern is that of standardized testing. For Waterloo schools, testing will be in April. Many other districts around the state will be testing withing the next couple weeks.