G-H Board approves moving alternative school to Clear Lake


The Garner-Hayfield School Board voted Monday to approve relocating the Lakeside Alternative (School) Program in the former Sunset Elementary School building in Clear Lake.  The program, serving G-H, Ventura and Clear Lake School District students, is currently housed at the Ventura/G-H Middle School in Ventura.

The Clear Lake School Board met in special session Wednesday, Dec. 5, to prepare a formal proposal for relocation of the alternative program. 

Lakeside currently has 13 seats;  seven seats purchased by the Clear Lake district and six from G-H/V.  The shared alternative program has been a part of G-H, Ventura and Clear Lake for over 10 years.

Prior to the Clear Lake meeting, G-H/V Superintendent Tyler Williams had informed the Clear Lake Board the idea of moving the program was acceptable, however he would like to see a commitment made to making the move sustainable. The Clear Lake Board responded with an offer to guarantee Sunset would house the program for a minimum of three years.

The G-H board agreed to the three-year plan and is asking for four other points to be addressed in a final agreement.  

Stipulations the G-H board is seeking are: building being up to Code; three year agreement to not sell Sunset and house program 2013-14 through 2015-16; maintain instructor; Ventura remains fiscal agent; and language be written into the 28E agreement stating the per pupil budget will be equal to state allotted per pupil dollars (currently about $6,100) without approval by all boards. 

The Clear Lake School Board has identified Sunset School as a potential site for a New Tech Network Model regional academy which the district has been studying.   Both Mason City and Clear Lake have shown an interest in establishing an academy, where students use technology to collaboratively solve problems, promoting critical thinking skills.  Local School Board members say in the event Clear Lake proceeds with New Tech, space is available for both programs.

A vote by the Ventura School Board is not needed for the alternative program relocation, Williams explained. 

The program could be in its new site in January 2013 if the Clear Lake School Board approves the plan at its regular meeting Monday.

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