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Another building fills up

OXFORD– The space crunch in the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) school district is now squeezing Clear Creek Elementary in Oxford.
At their regular meeting on Oct. 17, the CCA board of directors approved invoking the district’s insufficient space policy for the aging building.
The policy closes the school to open enrollment due to a lack of classroom space. However, siblings of currently enrolled students, children of employees and continuing open-enrolled students are exempt. Current enrollment at Clear Creek Elementary is 437, up from 402 last year, and two spaces have been reconfigured already to accommodate the increase in students. A conference room was converted into classroom space for special education programs for kindergartners through third graders, and partitions were placed in the library to create a classroom for Title One reading and Reading Recovery programs for kindergartners and first graders.
“I am hoping that we do not have to do any more reconfiguring of space,” said Clear Creek Elementary Principal Dan Dvorak. “The board voted to close open enrollment and intra-district transfers. We will watch our student enrollment numbers very closely in the spring to determine if we need to do any additional reconfiguring.”
Dvorak told the board it was a good problem to have, and said repurposing spaces has helped his faculty and staff to keep class sizes down. “We’re continuing to experience growth,” Dvorak said. “This is a good step toward managing that growth.”
The school in Oxford is the second district building to close its open enrollment, following North Bend Elementary in North Liberty, which enacted the policy in 2010. Currently six new classrooms are being constructed at North Bend, but those rooms are projected to be filled to capacity as soon as they are opened.
The district recently formed a Facility Studies Committee to address enrollment growth and develop options to manage the increased student population.
The committee’s next meeting is Monday, Nov. 12 in the library at Clear Creek Elementary in Oxford at 6:30 p.m.