A committee of educators, administrators, businesspeople and others is trying to develop a statewide approach to reforming Iowa’s high schools. Glen Grove is the chair of committee and says one of the biggest concerns is determining how big a high school should be so it can serve all students. Grove says it raises some real emotional issues in small towns where the high school is the center of the community. He says the high school is the place where they meet, the place they attend sports events and a source of pride for their community and it gets difficult when you talk about closing the school. But he says intellectually they know it’s best for the kids to have a larger school. Grove is the chief administrator of Area Education Agency 13, a support agency for schools. He says another issue is overcoming the traditional idea that a school has to be a building and a set of desks. He says,”One of our struggles is that we think high school should be a place. And I think what we’re trying to encourage our communities to think is shift in high school as set of experiences.” He says high school could be taking classes at a community college, working with a mentor or other activities. Grove isn’t sure how the effort will end up. He says, “I think there’s enough momentum to begin the process. The question will be ‘will we have the courage to stick with it?'” He says going to take every community, high school principal, faculty, and member of the community to make it work. He says a diverse group of people have signed on to the committee. He says there’s a lot of interest in our communities and high schools, that’s why employers, teach associations and colleges have said they’ll take part. The committee first met in January and Grove says they’ll meet again in June and plan to meet every six months.
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