The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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April 23, 2014

Leadership Team field concerns from parents

CLINTON — Progress on the new Clinton Middle School continues to move forward and as the deadline for completion draws nearer, school district officials and staff members are interested to know how the community is feeling about the project.

What they found out is that not everyone in the district is as optimistic as they are about the new school.

During a community forum on Tuesday at the Clinton School District administration center, parents, faculty and other district residents expressed some of their concerns, hoping for answers from middle school principal Dan Boyd and members of the middle school leadership team.

While they weren’t able to answer all the questions that were presented to them during the forum, the leadership team members gave their best effort to ease some of the anxiety that parents were feeling.

“We have a lot of answers but we don’t have all the answers,” Boyd said. “We will try to fill in as many gaps as possible and we will also record some of the questions that you ask so we can seek those answers.”

To maximize their efforts to answer as many questions as possible, the leadership team separated into two groups, one that focused on academics and the other on activities.

Class sizes and student transition into the new school were among the top concerns for the academic leadership group while total school population and separation of athletic teams monopolized the activities group.

Patty Stivers, a parent, questioned the effectiveness of the student-to-teacher ratio at the new school, which is expecting an enrollment of nearly 800 students for next year.

“What is the class size projected and how many teachers?” asked Stivers.

Lyons Middle School science teacher Eric Jennings, who spoke on behalf of the academic group, anticipated classroom sizes would remain close to what they are now at approximately 30 to 32 students in each class.

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