ALTA - The Boards of Education for the Alta and Aurelia School Districts met here Monday evening in a joint session to discuss the District's plans to share classes and activities.
The Districts will be sharing some activities next school year, starting this summer, then plan to enter a whole grade sharing agreement effective with the 2011-2012 school year.
All members of both Boards were present for the joint meeting, as were Superintendents Fred Maharry of Alta and Lynn Evans of Aurelia, Alta Principal Tom Ryherd, the Board secretaries from each district, three visitors, and members of the media.
The first item on the agenda was the approval of the baseball sharing agreement for the upcoming 2010 season. Following discussion, both Boards approved an agreement to cover May 1 - September 1, 2010.
Under this agreement, the Alta district will be responsible for hiring the head coach and one assistant, and the Aurelia district will be responsible for hiring a second assistant, who will coach the freshman team. At this time, said Maharry, it appears that the shared program will have about 30 9th -12th grade boys out for the sport, which Evans said should be enough to be able to field full freshman, JV and varsity teams.
The second item on the agenda was discussion of the sharing of athletics and cheerleading. It was agreed that the districts will share all sports during the 2010-11 "transition" year, with the exceptions of high school softball, volleyball and cross country. In the case of the first two sports, it was felt that there are enough athletes in both districts to allow each district to field a representative team next year.
In cross country, the Aurelia Board felt that their lack of numbers might cause a shared program to be bumped up a class, and they felt that would not be fair to the Alta cross country girls. Aurelia Superintendent Evans said that Aurelia will provide cross country this fall for any athletes who want to participate , and have a separate program this fall. Both Boards approved the one-year athletic agreement.
The Boards also discussed a whole grade sharing agreement for the 2011-2012 school year. The plan is for Alta to be responsible for Grades 9 -12, Aurelia for Grades 6-8, and each district to have a separate K-5 school. Both Boards agreed to discuss the issue further at their respective District Board meetings on April 12, with the goal of approving the agreement at that meeting.
There was also discussion about timelines for sharing. It was agreed that there should be a joint Good Conduct Code committee for next school year, and Ryherd said that he and Aurelia Principal Ann Sandine will be working on putting together a committee and reporting back to their Boards at their May meetings.
It was also agreed that the elementary students in both districts should be at the same level academically leading up to the whole-grade sharing, and both districts will work to ensure that this will be the case.
The districts will have the same calendar next school year, and teachers from both districts will be participating in shared professional development days during the transitional year as well.
The final topic of discussion was the hiring of a shared Superintendent. Both Boards agreed that the best course of action to take would be hiring a consultant to recruit Superintendent candidates and report to the Boards on his recommendations. Several possible consultants were named by Evans and Maharry, and the Board presidents will contact two or three of them to see if they can meet with the Alta and Aurelia Boards in a special joint session in June to talk with the Boards about the shared program's needs, and explain what the terms of a consulting agreement with them would entail. The unofficial estimate for such consulting services runs anywhere from $4,000 to $8,000.
The hope of the joint Board is that they can select a consultant after a June meeting, and have the consultant then start the recruiting process, with a goal of hiring a shared Superintendent well in advance of the implementation of the whole grade sharing agreement.