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Clear Lake and Ventura School Boards held a joint meeting Tuesday evening, Aug. 23, at Area Education Agency 267 to discuss past, present and possible future sharing opportunities.
According to Clear Lake School Board President Tom Lovell, the meeting provided the opportunity for the Clear Lake Board to hear directly from Ventura officials about goals they have for their district in the face of future financial challenges. Days earlier the Ventura Board held a community meeting to discuss the future of the district, including the exploration of whole grade sharing with the Garner-Hayfield School District.
Ventura Board President Larry Costello and Board members said the possibility of whole grade sharing with Garner was appealing because it would be a two-way agreement. Both districts would keep their respective elementary schools; seventh and eighth graders from both districts would attend classes in Ventura; high school students from both districts would attend classes in Garner.
“The (Ventura) community wants to keep elementary and junior high students in town. They want to keep a school in the community, or soon Ventura won’t be mentioned,” said Costello. He added that the district is not interested in consolidation. Long term whole grade sharing, like that of Corwith-Wesley-Luverne and Iowa Falls-Alden, is preferred. “We got the message from the community that it has no problem with whole grade sharing, but they want it to go two ways.”
Costello added that the board has discussed a two-year agreement, renewable for two years.
Each board noted 28E sharing agreements have existed for several years between the two. Currently, a nurse from Clear Lake provides services at Ventura and curriculum coordinator Tracy Thomsen reviews Ventura’s Talented and Gifted program so that they can satisfy a state requirement. Clear Lake, as well as Garner, participate in the Alternative School program located in Ventura. In addition, Clear Lake Board member Sandy Christ noted the pre-school program at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Ventura was included in the voluntary four-year-old preschool program which Clear Lake successfully funded through a state grant process.
“We’ve reached back and forth. We do have a history - Read More Via e-Edition