The students and teachers who work at the Malcolm Price Lab School on the U.N.I. campus will be moving to new jobs and schools next August, barring legislative intervention to prevent the closing of the school that was approved by the Board of Regents Monday.
Price Lab School has about 50 teachers, but U.N.I. president Ben Allen, isn’t sure if all of them will lose their jobs. Allen says they don’t ahve that information yet, and they will be working with the faculty union on the issue. Allen says it is possible the teachers at Price Lab could get jobs under a new model that would be used for teacher training.
As for the students, Cedar Falls Schools Superintendent, David Stokes says the elementary students’ first option is to attend school in his district. “Price Lab’s elementary students are located within one of our neighborhood school boundary areas, and that would be the neighborhood school they would attend,” Stokes said.
Stokes said however there is a rule exception in place, and some parents could use it to send their kids to other schools. Some of the Price Lab High School students have open-enrolled from Cedar Falls and Waterloo and other area districts, and they would have the option of returning to their home district.
Waterloo and Cedar Falls have already been working with U.N.I. on a teacher training program, and Waterloo superintendent, Gary Norris, told the regents they are ready to expand that program. Norris said his district has over 800 teachers. “That combined with Dr. Stokes’ over 380 teachers, gives us over 1,200 teachers to expand the program, versus 50 teachers at Price Lab,” Norris said.
Both the Waterloo and Cedar Falls superintendents say the teachers in their district are ready to expand the teacher training program.
“We are prepared to take our relationship with the university to the next level. We want to partner to provide U.N.I. students with rich, authentic teacher preparation experiences,” Norris said.
Norris and Stokes spoke to the regents during their meeting Monday before the regents voted to move ahead with Allen’s recommendation to close Price Lab on June 30th.