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Sharing talks end abruptly for G-T and R-A

December 13, 2012
Estherville Daily News

From E'burg Publishing

RUTHVEN - Talks about sharing high schools students from Ruthven-Ayrshire to the Graettinger-Terril Community School were halted Wednesday morning, Dec. 12, just hours before a scheduled joint meeting of the two school boards. A community public hearing slated for Thursday, Dec. 20, was also cancelled at the same time. Now, Ruthven-Ayrshire will turn its attention towards options of partial day sharing of its high school students with the Emmetsburg Community School District.

"In discussions by board members since Monday night, enough opinions changed to call a halt to the talks with Graettinger-Terril and continue to explore options with Emmetsburg," Ruthven-Ayrshire Superintendent Andrew Woiwood explained the reason for the decision to discontinue talks with neighboring Graettinger-Terril, after the RA board had voted to continue to negotiate during a board meeting on Monday, Dec. 10.

"They made a decision that whole-grade sharing was not their best financial option," said Graettinger-Terril Superintendent Jesse Ulrich. "We just need to keep this in perspective. Ruthven-Ayrshire approached us to ask if we were interested in whole-grade sharing, we talked about it and it didn't work out at this time."

While no formal talks have taken place at this point between Ruthven-Ayrshire and Emmetsburg, informal discussions have taken place in previous years.

"We have had conversations off and on over the years with Ruthven-Ayrshire on various types of sharing," noted Emmetsburg Superintendent John Joynt. "We've shared some athletics in the past, and in the last week, the Ruthven-Ayrshire board visited our facilities. We haven't had any formal discussions as of yet, but we will discuss it at our next board meeting. We would certainly welcome their students here and it would definitely be positive for our district as well."

For now, no talks have been scheduled other than to resume exploration of options for sharing after the start of the new year, according to Woiwood. The Emmetsburg School Board will discuss the developments during its December board meeting, slated for 5 p.m. Wendesday, Dec. 19.



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