Cedar Rapids Schools Makes Middle School Changes

The new Educational Leadership and Support Center for the Cedar Rapids Community School District at 2500 Edgewood Road NW will replace support buildings damaged in the 2008 flood. Photographed on Monday, March 19, 2012, in northwest Cedar Rapids. (Liz Martin/The Gazette-KCRG)

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By Max Walker

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - The 2014-2015 school year will be different for middle school students, parents, teachers and staff in the Cedar Rapids Community School District. On Wednesday Superintendent Dr. Dave Benson sent an email outlining changes shared with middle school administrators.

The email says the district can't continue with its current level of expenses, and as a result officials are changing the structure at each of the district's middle schools.

According to the email, starting next fall middle school teachers won't have two prep periods during the day. Also, every middle school will be on the same schedule with an eight period day. Administrators say the switch will allow for consistency, as the middle schools are currently on different schedules, and will allow for a foreign language program in the future.

The changes will also mean a reduction in staff at each middle school, however the email does not specify the number of positions that will be lost nor which departments they will come from.

Sue Clapp, president of the Cedar Rapids Education Association, a union of teachers in the CRCSD, says the changes might result in moving teachers around instead of people losing jobs.

"We still have a strong belief within our school district that we won't have to be giving any reduction in force notices, but it could mean a shuffling of teachers that were certified to teach at the elementary level or the high school level. So they might be switching areas of expertise."

Dr. Benson says planning and information about the coming changes will happen in the next several months.

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