CLINTON — Believing in the students that compose the Clinton School District is non-negotiable, Superintendent Deb Olson told a room of people Tuesday morning as she delivered her annual State of the District address.
“I want them to have a future. Because no matter where they come from, they can make it as long as they have a solid education,” Olson said. “I believe the best place to live is right here in Clinton, Iowa and I would tell anybody that.”
Olson started her address by apologizing to the people who gathered at the District Administration Center if she seemed distracted. Moments before she was set to deliver her speech a Clinton School bus carrying a handful of children was knocked on its side in a traffic accident.
With district representatives on the scene of the accident, Olson pushed forward.
She detailed some of the district’s success such as the Clinton High School baseball team’s trip to state and the CHS girl’s tennis team state championship and then dove into the numbers that indicate how the district has fared in the past year.
The district lost 106 students this year, which results in the loss of $653,702 from its operational budget. Total enrollment is 3,860, which is down by 313 students from 2007.
Olson explained the decreasing enrollment is fueled by two factors: the highly transient student body and open enrollments to other districts such as Camanche and Northeast.
“This year again will be a challenging one with our budget. However, I am confident that we can maintain our opportunities for students and live within the means of our budget,” Olson said.
While officials have some concerns about standardized test scores for seventh grade students in math and reading, the district has made growth in other grades and testing levels, such as elementary school science results across the district coming in above 74 percent, which Olson dubbed at the phenomenal level.