BCLUW board moves to required learning for high school students

Robert Maharry
The Grundy Register

CONRAD- In light of the announcement that in-person classes have been cancelled for the remainder of the year due to the coronavirus outbreak, the BCLUW school board revised its original plan and voted unanimously to move to required distance learning during a special meeting conducted via Zoom last Thursday morning.


Initially, Gladbrook-Reinbeck was the only district in Grundy County to adopt a required learning policy, and the other four, including BCLUW, went with a voluntary program. Distance learning will still be optional for elementary and middle school students as the motion at the meeting only applied to the high school.


Superintendent Ben Petty told the board that the district is working to provide wi-fi hot spots for the students who do not have internet access, and high school principal Kristyn Kell said that any seniors who are currently failing classes will not be able to graduate unless they improve their grades. Failing a class can also result in ineligibility for activities.


Remaining in a voluntary program would affect teachers’ ability to conduct reassessments with students, which offer them the opportunity to raise grades. Kell added that she has heard positive feedback from administrators at West Marshall and Gladbrook-Reinbeck about required learning, and D-NH is planning to make the transition at the beginning of May.


“This is what we’ve got to do to get the kids where they need to be. This is the least amount of harm,” band instructor David Bartling said.


Eventually, a motion from board member LJ Kopsa to move forward with the required learning passed by a 6-0 vote (Adam Probasco was absent). Board member Eric Engle remarked that although he had favored voluntary learning at the beginning of the meeting, he’d been convinced to change his mind.


“So much work has been put into this in such a short amount of time. If you can’t be proud of your district in a time like this, I don’t know when you can,” Engle said.


The meeting last Thursday was the board’s fourth of the month.


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