by Marianne Gasaway
The Clear Lake School District will establish its own Alternative School in the 2020-21 school year.
The School Board voted to hire its own teacher and house Alternative School students at its high school building. Currently, the students are attending classes at Ventura and participating in a program shared with GHV known as the Lakeside Alternative School. The program was formerly housed in the Sunset School building in Clear Lake, but moved to Ventura in 2018 after the school building was sold to a Waterloo developer.
“We feel we will be able to provide more opportunities for the students that attend the alternative school,” Clear Lake Superintendent Doug Gee explained.
Clear Lake will devote its former Iowa Communication Network (ICN) classroom, located on the southwest portion of the high school building, to its new alternative school.
Current alternative school students would have access to high school counselors for college and career planning, access to elective courses and career and technical courses in the high school, said Gee. In addition, they could have more involvement in opportunities such as class trips to NIACC and career path trips, as well as access to college courses. Students could also participate in the high school’s J-Term, which provides an opportunity to study interests outside the regular curriculum.
There is also a high possibility for students to create a connection through athletics, music or clubs, the board reasoned.
Although the district plans to hire its own teacher for the program, all Clear Lake teachers would be available for support and help with coursework if needed.
“We also believe that by Clear Lake having a teacher here, they would be able to help with other students that need credit recovery, but are not necessarily a student that would attend the alternative school,” added Gee.
In other business at its Nov. 14 meeting, the Board re-elected Chyrl Bergvig as its president. Mike Moeller will serve as vice-president. Bergvig, along with Tony Brownlee, will serve on the district’s Facility Committee; Moeller and John Brady will serve on the Handbook Committee and Negotiations Team.
The board approved the purchase of six, 65-inch touchscreen interactive boards from ELB US, Inc., for $30,729.