WATERLOO — As Waterloo Community Schools begins the second year of opening its career and technical education program to Cedar Falls students, officials say a sharing agreement with another district may be on the horizon.
Superintendent Jane Lindaman told the Board of Education on Monday that administrators visited a school district with “a program we don’t have, and we have many programs they don’t have.” In particular, that includes the nine career pathways offered at the Waterloo Career Center in a remodeled area on the north end of Central Middle School. If talks move forward, the agreement allowing students from the two districts to enroll in each others’ programs would likely come before the board in the spring and take effect next fall.
Working cooperatively between districts on career and technical education is being pushed at the state level. “The regional partnerships are going to become more of the norm than the exception,” said Jeff Frost, the district’s executive director of professional education.
The board renewed its agreement with Cedar Falls Community Schools allowing juniors and seniors at both districts to enroll in each others’ career programs. The Career Center offers concurrent Hawkeye Community College classes in the nine career and technical education pathways. Students can earn concurrent elective Hawkeye credit in the four program strands of Cedar Falls High School’s Center for Advanced Professional Studies.
At the Career Center, students enroll in technical education courses. At the CAPS program, students are paired with a business or organization and assigned a project to gain real-world work experience in a career field. Last year, 10 Cedar Falls students enrolled in the career center and three Waterloo students enrolled in CAPS. Private school students can also enroll in the programs.
In other business, the board approved an increase in substitute teacher pay. It grew from $120 to $130 per day for short-term assignments and from $140 to $150 per day for long-term assignments. The district spends about $1.2 million on substitute teacher pay not counting tax contributions, and the increase is expected to add about $100,000 to the overall cost.