WATERLOO — With more than a week of classes to make up due to cold and snowy weather, Waterloo Community Schools is slightly adjusting its calendar for this spring.

Superintendent Jane Lindaman told the Board of Education on Monday officials plan to change a scheduled day off from classes in April to a school day.

School will be held April 5, currently a professional development day for district staff. The schedule change will come to the board for action at a future meeting. Another school day will be made up April 22, which had been built into the calendar as a snow day if needed.

As of Monday, “there is still four remaining dates to be added,” said Lindaman, to make up for school cancellations. Officials plan to add those to the end of the school year June 3-6. Originally, the school year was scheduled to end May 31.

Lindaman has been discussing the potential calendar adjustments with staff groups and other interested community members. One option was having school this Friday. The district has parent-teacher conferences scheduled Tuesday evening and Thursday afternoon and evening. As a result, no classes are scheduled Thursday and Friday.

However, “due to the lateness of the situation, we just couldn’t pull it off,” she said. In talking to district employees, she learned a number of staff members had made plans to be out of town for the long weekend. As a result, staffing on Friday would be problematic.

Community members also have suggested making up days during at least part of spring break, which is March 18 to 22. That is not feasible, either, said Lindaman.

“There are a lot of things in the Cedar Valley that happen during spring break,” she said. “I fielded five to eight phone calls from different organizations that already have events planned.”

The board also approved an internet service contract and the purchase of computer network equipment.

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A three-year contract was approved with Aureon to provide 5 gigabits per second of internet service at $2,800 per month and a one-time installation fee of $1,000.

“We currently have two contracts for internet service,” said Matt O’Brien, the district’s executive director of technology. Each internet provider serves a certain number of the district’s schools. A 1 gbps contract with Unite Private Networks expiring at the end of June will be replaced with the Aureon contract.

“We received seven bids,” said O’Brien. “I think they were very competitive.”

Costs for the service could drop to as low as $3,360 per year if discounts the district is filing for through the Universal Service Administration’s taxpayer-funded e-rate program are approved. That would knock 90 percent off the cost, bringing it to $280 per month.

Three different technology purchases were approved.

Network switches and related equipment to be placed at various schools was purchased from Goldfield Telecom LC at a cost of $211,390. SFP transceivers for fiber optic cable data was purchased from IT Outlet at a cost of $29,350. Wireless access points were purchased for nine schools at a cost of $76,694 from Aercor Wireless.

O’Brien told the board he “will file for about $269,000 worth of e-rate credits,” bringing the total cost to the district down to about $48,000. The purchases are conditioned on the district receiving the funding.

In other business, the board approved seeking bids for demolition of the former Longfellow School. A bid is expected to be approved next month with the project complete by the end of summer at the latest.


Education Reporter

Education reporter for the Courier

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