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A-R School board discusses Sentral reorganization

April 29, 2013
By Michael Tidemann - Staff Writer , Estherville Daily News

ARMSTRONG - If you've been to all the Armstrong-Ringsted School Board meetings, discussion of consolidation with Sentral starts sounding like a broken record.

But if you've never been to a meeting, this might be news.

The board hashed out the timeline and more of the details of the proposed Sentral reorganization Monday night.

So far, the following items have happened:

n Filing of petitions - week of Jan. 21, 2013.

n Objections deadline - week of March 18, 2013.

n Hearing - week of March 25, 2013.

n Publication of order - week of April 1, 2013.

The following items are in progress or have yet to occur:

n Appeal deadline - week of April 22, 2013.

n County auditor notification deadline - May 10, 2013 (approximate) for a June 25, 2013 vote.

n Effective date if vote passes - July 1, 2014.

While Armstrong-Ringsted, Sentral and North Kossuth are currently in a whole-grade sharing agreement under the name of North Union, the new consolidated district of A-R and Sentral would be known as North Union effective July 1, 2014. The new North Union would be governed by a five-member board - three members from the old A-R district and two from the former Sentral district. That board would then enter into a new whole-grade sharing agreement with North Kossuth.

A-R superintendent Matt Berninghaus said at Monday night's meeting that there are guidelines of what administration can and can't do to promote consolidation - for example, using a school photocopier to make "vote yes" banners. Berninghaus also said the new A-R board members elected in September would only serve out their terms from September to July 1, 2014 and that the new board would nominate members of the new North Union board.

Under action items Monday, the board approved leasing two buses for next school year after Berninghaus illustrated a $150,732.35 four-year savings with a lease option.

The board amended its sports sharing agreement with North Kossuth and Sentral to include high-school cross country.

The board approved the 2013 graduate list provided seniors complete graduation requirements.

The board also approved revised driver education fees - to $250 during both the school year and summer for in-district students which includes all current North Union students and $300 for out-of-district students.

The board approved hiring John Wimmer, a Mapleton native and spring SDSU grad, to head up the ag education program starting this fall.

The board also heard administrative reports, including a presentation by Robert Zotz, activities director and assistant principal. on a J-term program which could offer specialized courses for two weeks in January.



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