The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

June 6, 2014

School's out for summer

By Amy Kent
Clinton Herald

CLINTON — As the last bell rang and the doors flew open at Eagle Heights Elementary School on Thursday, students of all ages emerged with the proclamation of freedom.

Thursday marked the last day of school for the Clinton School District and students were happy to make the announcement as they left for the approximately three-month summer break, but just because the students left doesn't mean everyone has the summer off.

For most of the administrators in the district, June, July and August can be some of the busiest months of the year.

"The offices are open all summer long because we always have questions or we're giving tours during the summer. The administrators and some of the secretary staff work all year round," Clinton School District Superintendent Deb Olson said. "Summertime is when we prepare for next school year. There's a lot of planning and reflection of what has been accomplished and using data to determine what things may need to be adjusted."

Some of those adjustments come from the teachers themselves, who will close out the year today, and some come from the school board level.

As the school board considers all of the details of another finished school year and fine tunes some those details, a ripple effect flows through the other levels of administration.

One thing that makes all of those conversations a little easier is knowing the children of the school district are in the hands of their parents and guardians.

"I rest a little easier because I know that the children are safe," Olson said. "During the school year those children are my responsibility and I don't take that lightly. When we don't have to deal with busing and them in the buildings, I don't have that constant diligence to making sure they're safe so I'm able to shift into a different frame of mind."

But just because the students are no longer in class doesn't mean the district doesn't have a hand in how they spend their summer. A number of summer programs are put on by the schools themselves as well as their respective sports teams to ensure kids have something to do while their not sitting at their desks.

While giving kids an event-filled summer of fun helps to refresh them for when school returns in August, it doesn't hurt for the faculty and staff either.

"I think for me there's always excitement that it's summer time," Olson said. "It's a great time to rejuvenate ourselves, so a little bit of break is always a good thing. It helps us come back excited to start the next school year. And I think about 99 percent of the people who come back are ready to be back at school."