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'Super Conference' alignment proposed

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Plan would affect River Valley, Galva-Holstein, other MVC schools

CORRECTIONVILLE - A move is supported and in progress to combine two Western Iowa high school activities conferences - the Maple Valley Conference, and the Boyer Valley Conference.

The information generated out of the River Valley School Board's special meeting on January 29th, as the superintendents from the 19 schools involved in the two conferences continue to work towards the goal of combining the two conferences.

The 12 MVC schools affected are River Valley, Galva-Holstein, Battle Creek-Ida Grove, Remsen-Union, Kingsley-Pierson, Odebolt-Arthur, Woodbury Central, Lawton-Bronson, Maple Valley/Anthon-Oto, West Monona, Westwood, and Whiting.

As proposed, there would be Southern and Northern divisions of the newly-formed "Super Conference" and would include all activities and athletic programs except football, which in Iowa is in a district form.

The seven Boyer Valley Conference schools include Ar-We-Va, Boyer Valley, Charter Oak-Ute, IKM-Manning, Logan-Magnolia, West Harrison, and Woodbine.

The plan was initiated by Ar-We-Va, cognizant of the fact that some BVC schools are considering mergers and/or sharing programs, which would reduce the number of schools participating in the BVC.

The Maple Valley Conference superintendents and school boards are in favor of such a Super Conference because they, too, are aware of the possibility of losing member schools through mergers or sharing programs.

Two MVC schools - Battle Creek-Ida Grove, and Odebolt-Arthur, are in discussions about possible sharing and have already merged their wrestling teams the past few years. River Valley and Galva-Holstein representatives have also met in the past to discuss possible sharing or mergers.

"I'm excited about it," said River Valley Superintendent Julie DeStigter. "Besides athletics, it would benefit our Electronic medical records for MHI band, choir and speech programs and offer more competitions throughout the school year. It would improve all activities, not just athletics."

A decision will be made by March of this year by a vote of the MVC and BVC superintendents, with blessings from their respective school boards. The new conference would go into effect for the 2008 school year.

So far, names bandied about for the new conference are Western Valley Conference, and Loess Hills Conference.

As proposed to date, West Monona and Whiting would join the Southern Division and the rest of the current BVC schools, and the remaining 10 MVC schools would form the Northern Division.

In other River Valley board action, the architect for the proposed new bus facility to be built in Washta on school property was given an update of new considerations for the bus barn and will incorporate them into the proposal to be bid upon.

Last week, the RV board received the initial labor contract proposal from the River Valley Education Association support staff. Monday night, the board went into closed session to discuss the on-going labor negotiations.

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