CAM Interim School Board approves early start application


May 3rd, 2011 by Ric Hanson

The CAM Community School District has approved applying to the Iowa Department of Education for permission to begin the 2011-2012 school year on August 17th, 2011.  Approval of the application to the D-E is necessary if districts wish to begin classes prior to September 1st. 

The D-E’s policy says classroom days for students can begin no sooner than the week in which Sept. 1 falls.  If Sept. 1 falls on Sunday, then classes may begin during the previous week, but the Department of Education has authority to grant an earlier start to classes based on the completion of the request for early start as part of the spring Basic Educational Data Survey (BEDS). Regardless of when classes start, all students in Iowa must attend 180 days of classes, with the exception of Seniors, who are required to attend 175 days. 

In other business, the CAM Board approved a fire safety project which Superintendent Steve Pelzer says will cost a total of $30,000. Pelzer says the project will correct some deficiencies in the fire warning system at the high school, and make some needed improvements. The fire panel would be repaired, smoke detectors replaced and strobe units installed in the classrooms, among other things. 

The Board also approved an agreement with the Cass County Educational Opportunity Center for the 2011-2012 school year. In his report to the Board, High School Prinicipal Dominic Giegerich said there will be some changes to the curriculum for the coming school year, including those will create a required junior English course. He says it will teach the components of composition to all students. In the past, the required courses stopped after the sophomore year.

“Mr. G” as he’s known, says also the requirement for oral communications will be eliminated and folded into the English class, along with grammatical coursework and literature. 

Superintendent Steve Pelzer says the move would eliminate the need to share a teacher with another district, and will serve to increase the amount of reading and writing the students will be required to do.