Plan for missed school time yet to be decided

A total of 14 hours of instructional time has been missed this past week in the Marshalltown Community School District due to weather-caused early releases.

Marvin Wade, superintendent of MCSD, said he is still looking into the options to see about making up that time.

“We don’t know for sure how we are going to handle this,” Wade said. “This is an unusual situation.”

Wade said he plans to discuss his options with his fellow superintendents in the state and his building principals in the district.

“I want to make an informed decision,” Wade said.

Among the options is to have school use time usually reserved for snow days, such as Martin Luther King Jr. Day or Presidents Day. There is also an option to extend the school day to make up that time.

Wade said he plans to make a decision in the next two to three weeks. One thing the district has to its advantage is it has plenty of time left in the 2013-14 school year to work with.

Ralph Bryant, principal at Lenihan Intermediate School, said the changes of schedules went well for the fifth and sixth graders in the district this past week.

“I think our staff and students have done an excellent job,” Bryant said.

One of the biggest challenges taken on by staff this past week at Lenihan was feeding lunch to 700 students over the span of an hour with the abbreviated schedule.

“It’s a monumental task to feed 700 students in an hour, but the staff did a great job,” Bryant said.

Some Marshalltown school buildings have full air conditioning, some are more than half air conditioned and some are less that half air conditioned. While Wade said some air conditioning upgrades are planned a totally air conditioned district is not feasible in the short term.

“It’s one of those things on the wish list,” Wade said.

Air conditioning will be one of the items discussed during a special school board session to talk about the facility plan at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at district offices.