Atlantic Superintendent and Teachers are excited about the new school year


August 14th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic School District Superintendent Mike Amstein said Tuesday night, that he’s excited about the school year starting Wednesday morning, and so are the teachers.

Atlantic Superintendent Dr. Michael Amstein & Transportation Director Dave Eckles look over the new propane powered bus delivered Tuesday.

There’s even two new school buses to help transport students to and from school and to special or athletic events. Amstein says “There’s an excitement in the air.” The two new school buses he says will give the district a number of years of service. He’s especially interested in seeing how the new propane powered bus performs. Amstein says they’re “Going to run it like a dog this year, and if it stands up,” he’ll probably come back to the school board at the end of the year and ask them to invest in another one.

The school board agreed back in March to purchase both a new propane and a diesel powered bus, because an 84 passenger bus in the fleet was “On it’s last legs,” and a 64-passenger bus was “nickel and diming” the district to death. The new 84-passenger diesel bus has a larger under carriage carrying capacity, while the smaller, propane powered bus is expected to save the district money, in the long run. Both buses arrived Tuesday.

The brand new 84-passenger diesel powered bus, with the propane powered bus parked behind it.

In other business, Superintendent Mike Amstein told the board he had good news and bad news, as far the District meeting requirements of the Iowa Department of Education (DOE). He said based on a letter he recently received from the DOE, Atlantic meets all the requirements for the 2012-2013 school year. He says that makes a “Good statement, that (the) teachers and administrators are on top of (the situation), and that (the district) is doing everything possible,” to align itself with DOE. Amstein says however there are some areas where the district still needs to work on, with regard to Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) report. He says the district is currently off any State list for the 2012-2013 school year.

He says the Atlantic High School has been removed from the “Watch list,” in reading and in Math, Delay 1 for the 2012-2013 school year. He says with continued work at the high school, by next year at this time, they should be in Delay 2 for mathematics and be removed from the watch list in reading. The Middle School is listed as SINA 3 (School in Need of Assistance), which means some work needs to be done to improve student test scores. Amstein says Principal Cam Smith has plans in place to address the needs of his students and “point the Middles School in the right direction.” Amstein says Schuler Elementary is on the Watch list for Reading, and in Mathematics is a  SINA 1 school.

Amstein says Principal Matt Alexander is working on correcting issues there as well. Washington Elementary is on the Watch list for Reading, but they have been removed from the Watch list for Mathematics. Amstein says there are some things within those status reports to celebrate, but there are also some things to address.