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North Union approves intent to negotiate whole-grade sharing with North Kossuth

August 28, 2013
By Michael Tidemann - Staff Writer , Estherville News

The North Union Board of Education on Monday, Aug. 26 approved giving North Kossuth its intent to negotiate a whole-grade sharing agreement which would start July 1, 2014.

The board met after the regular Armstrong-Ringsted Board of Education meeting. North Union board members are Jim Boyer, Jen Von Bank and George Walker, representing the A-R area, with Ron Dacken and Cory Culbertson representing the Sentral area.

North Kossuth already approved its intent to negotiate the agreement Aug. 19.

The following steps are:

n Work with North Kossuth and negotiate a whole-grade sharing agreement.

n Each board will then approve a consensus draft of the agreement for the purpose of proceeding to public hearing (action item at a board meeting).

n Each board will then schedule and hold a public hearing in its own district on the proposed two-way whole-grade sharing agreement. Attorney Rick Engel will be the likely presenter of the agreement and district patrons will be able to offer comment.

n Each board will then wait at least 30 days before taking final action to approve and sign the agreement, no later than Feb. 1, 2014 and no earlier than Nov. 24 which would be 90 days after the intent to negotiate meeting.

Superintendent Matt Berninghaus outlined the current arrangement which could act as boiler plate for a new agreement. If the terms of current arrangement continue, he said each of the districts would be responsible for their respective staffing and students and services would remain the same as currently. Equipment would be properly marked to indicate to which district it originally belonged, and students would be subject to disciplinary codes in the respective district they attend. Each district would be responsible for its own transportation.

He said two board members and one superintendent from each district will meet to work out the sharing agreement. Each district would be responsible for curriculum at its respective grade level.

Von Bank said she wanted to ensure each building was on the same page as far as what kids are taught.

Culbertson agreed, saying he would eventually like to have all of each grade in one building.

Superintendent Matt

Berninghaus said Julie Runksmeier served as curriculum director at both Sentral and North Kossuth.

Von Bank said she wanted to make sure kids have what they need to succeed in subsequent grades. "That partnership between the different grade levels is important," she said.

The board approved the district's intent to negotiate a whole-grade sharing agreement with North Union and also discussed North Union director districts, the North Union election cycle and future ballots.



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