HAMBURG – Hamburg is preparing to make a pitch that could make Iowa education history.
About 130 people attended a meeting Thursday where Superintendent Mike Wells said he is preparing to ask the State Board of Education on March 28 to allow the town to bring back its high school under a career academy model.
Wells: “When you let your accreditation go, it’s a challenge to get it back. It’s never happened in Iowa. I don’t think there’s been a single high school that has disappeared and came back, so you would be making history.”
Hamburg’s high school was lasted accredited in 2015. To get that accreditation back, the district must provide a full academic schedule and have students for each class. Wells said he has heard from seniors who are ready to return.
Wells: “We think we can offer a very good curriculum and we can get it all covered, but I have to sit down with the Department of Education and prove that.”
He said the building has enough room, even if all 227 Hamburg students came back. Career academies in construction, welding and nurse assistant will be held off campus.
He said current staff is able to handle the addition of high school. Sought-after chemistry, upper math and senior science teachers will be recruited by offering a four-day week.
Wells: “I am going to show them a financial model that will show that our unspent balance will not drop and we’ll show them an education plan that will meet or exceed anything the state has in place, but the state, for many years, has been trying to close small schools. We would be extremely small, so, again, this is step we’re trying, but, if they say no, we’re done.”
Board Member Dave Mincer said the community reaction to the plan has been encouraging.