Okoboji School Board Revises Policy On Classroom Size; Hears Update On Middle School Project

Mon 2-10-2020

(Milford)-- The Okoboji School Board Monday evening approved a policy revision that pertains to classroom size. The change basically removes a cap that set a limit of students to a classroom. Superintendent Todd Abrahamson says there are two factors in particular that resulted in the policy change...Abrahamson & Class Size01 

"So this is not to say that class sizes aren't important, but there are two driving factors right now for sustainability and that's the lack of supplemental state aid by the state of Iowa but also for us, too, the number two factor is sufficient space just because we're land locked. Our numbers have grown quite high, particularly at our elementary."

Abrahamson says the district will review classroom sizes on an annual basis and that he'll make recommendations for any changes based on input from administration and faculty in each building. He adds most of the enrollment growth has taken place at the elementary level. And he says space in that building is also rapidly becoming an issue. He says they're already looking at some possible options...both for the short term and for the longer term...Abrahamson & Class Size02 

"We're actually going to have them look at the center of the school which is our current nature nook on hey, could we add classroom spaces there as a factor to increase our space. I think in a 15 to 20 year plan the district should probably look at, and we're investigating, do we purchase more of the gravel pit? We'd have to work with the county Board of Supervisors on that, so we haven't had any discussions with them but as we're brainstorming, do we buy some more of that gravel pit like they did many years ago where we're building our current middle school and eventually does the elementary go over there?"

On somewhat of a related note, Abrahamson also gave an update on the Middle School project, saying he's received assurances the project will be substantially completed by this coming July 31st...Abrahamson & Class Size03 

"You know like we've been saying for a long time, August 1st. So we're excited about that progress. It is really taking place and very confident in that schedule, particularly after talking with the GC, Joseph Company, and the project manager and also the foreman at the meetings which are bi-weekly, they feel confident of this substantial completion."

Abrahamson says contractors will begin laying brick on the exterior of the building on May 1st. He says the building has been completely enclosed now and good progress is being made on the interior.