Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

November 14, 2013

Twin Cedars Board discusses days vs. hours

Steve Woodhouse
Journal-Express

Bussey — The Twin Cedars School Board met in regular session Monday night and one of the topics discussed, but not acted upon, centered upon the 2014-15 school calendar. Legslation passed earlier this year now allows school districts to choose to be in session for 180 days or 1,080 hours. 

"I think 'minutes' is way better simply for the flexibility it gives you in scheduling," Superintendent Brian VanderSluis told the Journal-Express. 

According to the new legislation, which goes into effect July 1, 2014, a school day will still equal six hours. There will be no waivers for districts, in regard to the number of hours. If a district chooses 1,080 hours of instruction per year, over the 180 days, that amount of time must be spent on instruction. 

An informational summary document, provided by the Iowa Department of Education, accompanies this article. VanderSluis intends to provide more documentation on the pros and cons of each scheduling option for discussion at future meetings. Districts are expected to submit their decisions and calendar requests to the state by March 1, 2014. 

In other school board action, the board voted to purchase a 2014 Thomas, 65-passenger bus for $81,361. One of the district's route buses blew a motor and a backup bus has been in use. VanderSluis presented the board with three options. This decision will make the new bus an activity bus and the current activity bus will be used for a route. 

The district's buses were also recently inspected. The inspection was perfect.