Welcome back students!

Jacob Lane · Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Class is back in session in the West Liberty Community School District. The elementary, middle and high school classes promptly began at 8 a.m. on Monday morning.

Even though many high school students trudged to campus in the morning, a majority were still excited to see their friends once again.

"I think it's going to be a bit harder this year for me, since I'm a year older," said Yadra Rocha, grade 11. "But, I'm excited and nervous all at the same time."

"I'm tired because I have to wake up early now," added her friend Angie Farias, grade 11.

Many students at the middle and elementary schools couldn't wait to get inside. Sudent's lined up at the middle school before they were let in.

Unlike the other buildings, the Early Learning Center began class on Wednesday. Because it caters to younger children the district allows two days for parents to meet with teachers before classes begin.

However, all openings were successful, according to Superintendent Steve Hanson. Nothing out of the ordinary occurred.

"It seemed to go pretty smoothly without any issues," he said. "All the buses got here fine and the students were happy to be at school."

The Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) held a special Back-to-school party at Kimberly Park last Saturday to help kick off the school year.

The event was larger than previous years. There were three large inflatables, a variety of carnival like games, and food from West Liberty State Bank, the Boy Scouts, and the PTO.

Part of the event's success was due to its new timing. Before, the PTO's Back-to-school event occurred on the same day as open-house in the district.

While the PTO opened the Kimberly Park pool for free swim in previous years, most parents opted to go to open-house that night instead.

However, since the school district's open-house was last Thursday, the park overflowed with children Saturday. Perhaps the biggest attraction was a dunking booth that gave students a chance to soak teachers in a giant tub of water.

Finally, the school board met Monday night. They discussed putting together committees that would tackle two major discussions to play out this school year.

The first will be the discussion of changing the WLCSD calendar to a year-round format. This would shorten summer break, but add longer breaks throughout the year.

The main purpose would be to eliminate summer learning loss that occurs in students. It's believed a student loses a lot of information he or she learned during a long break.

The second will be the discussion of restructuring teachers in the district. According to Superintendent Steve Hanson, if the district gives 25 percent of its teachers more responsibility, then it'll receive $300 per student from the state of Iowa.
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