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Cedar Valley Catholic Schools’ chief administrator Dale Monroe plans to retire at the end of the school year.

WATERLOO — Cedar Valley Catholic Schools’ elementary education will face some changes in the future, but no decisions have been made yet.

The Archdiocese of Dubuque’s Board of Education got an update Tuesday on the process the Waterloo school system has been going through for the past 18 months to two years when it met with Chief Administrator Dale Monroe.

“It was just a conversation,” he said. “We explained to them that we were having conversations about becoming more effective and efficient.” That is necessary, he added, “so we can hold our costs down and our tuition down.”

The system’s three preschool through fifth-grade buildings — Blessed Sacrament, Sacred Heart and St. Edward elementary schools — have faced declining enrollment during recent years. For example, in the past six years, the schools have seen their combined enrollment drop by 100 students to 381 this fall, according to Courier stories.

Monroe noted any decisions about consolidation or closure of the system’s three preschool through fifth-grade buildings will be made by the CVCS Board of Education, rather than at the archdiocese level. “They don’t interfere in local decisions,” he said.

Nonetheless, there is a proper way to go about such things.

The meeting was held “to make sure we’re following the process,” said Monroe. “We were just checking to see if we were in compliance with that and what we need to do to go forward.” The feedback he received will help CVCS in its planning.

Discussion about the future of the elementary schools stems from a CVCS finance committee task force that released a report last year recommending an elementary grade level reorganization. Among the proposals was grade sharing between buildings with small class sizes and closing one of the schools in three to five years.

More recently, the CVCS board in March approved a facilities study of all five schools by Struxture Architects at a cost of $10,000. “The board wanted a third-party analysis of our buildings,” said Monroe. The results, expected to be presented at the board’s June 7 meeting, will help direct a feasibility study and possible future capital campaign related to elementary facilities.

Monroe did not lay out a time frame for moving forward or making decision. He acknowledged, though, that it’s possible the board could take some action based on the Struxture study.

“After they hear the facilities report, the board could make a decision that night,” he said. “But I’m reluctant to put words in their mouth.”


Education Reporter

Education reporter for the Courier

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