Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Submit News | Contact Us | All Access E-Edition | Home RSS
 
 
 

Sharing concerns

SWG board approves start of negotiations with Prairie Valley

March 21, 2013

BURNSIDE — The Southeast Webster Grand Community School District board approved Wednesday to publicly announce its intention to negotiate a whole-grade sharing system with Prairie Valley Community......

« Back to Article

 
 
sort: oldest | newest

Comments

(22)

mischiefmaker

Apr-02-13 7:20 PM

Looking at data is always good, but all numbers must be evaluated and analyzed while keeping in mind the factors that have had an impact on those numbers. Speaking from the point of view of someone who has moved around a lot because of the spouse's employment, I would agree that its only logical to seek information when faced with an important decision. When moving to a large urban area, we looked at data regarding school ratings; of course that means someone had compiled data for the purpose of assigning a rating to a school... test scores are one indication of a "successful" school. Test scores are a snap shot, and as such they are immediate. Growth or lack thereof over time is and always will be a fluid measurement because we aren't talking about manufacturing a product; we are talking about human beings.

1 Agrees | 0 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

BillyJohnson

Apr-02-13 6:21 PM

"I want parents, patrons and staff to have a voice in this and not be told to shut up". Did Todd tell someone to shut up? He's not all that friendly..

1 Agrees | 0 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

Derteufel

Mar-28-13 10:50 AM

the only rankings i find shows SEW scores increasing, and PV decreasing, and SEW rankings are 20-30+ points higher than PV

0 Agrees | 1 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

Derteufel

Mar-28-13 9:57 AM

jdsmith why dont you share this testing information location with the rest of the discussion, because i believe it is only a reflection of your imagination

0 Agrees | 0 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

mischiefmaker

Mar-23-13 12:22 PM

I think there are many issues at play here; obviously passion and emotion are present.......but these cannot be the driving force behind any rational course of action. The state of Iowa is not concerned in the least with maintaing small schools. That is a mind-set not on their radar. We are wasting time money and resources thinking we have an ally there; we do not. The most intelligent thing for us to do is carefully consider all options, studying the pros and cons of each in a systematic manner with a cool head. If what everyone comes back to is true (we all want the best education possible for our students) it's obvious to me that we may need to refine, define, create, and talk about what that means, what it is now, and what it could be. This is an opportunity we would be foolish to dismiss.

0 Agrees | 1 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

zxcv4321

Mar-23-13 11:19 AM

Is negotiating a sharing system really that distinct from adopting a sharing system? It seems it could be assumed that the end result of negotiations will be an agreement. It appears we are beyond the discussions of whether or not we will, and are at the point of ironing out the details for something that will happen. It does seem it would've been helpful to have a feasibility study conducted prior to this point, prior to negotiating an agreement.

Secondly, when will the merging stop? It seems the graduating class numbers are dramatically higher than they were 30 years ago, yet merging continues to be required. Has anyone considered putting this issue to the state and asking them when the merging can stop? Even if we go through with this merge, who's to say we won't be going to school in Fort Dodge or Boone in another 10-20 years? We need to talk to our state legislators and recoup some of the state support for education.

1 Agrees | 0 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

TAXEDENOUGH

Mar-21-13 10:10 PM

Back in the 60's Gowrie and paton merged.A couple years later, still in the 60's Gowrie, Callendar & Moorland merged. A few years later after Somers and Farnamville had merged, Gowrie merged with them. The names of the schools kept changing and there was friction for a couple of years but now things smoothed out. This was all done to save money and give the students more opportunities with the declining student population and reduced financial resources. Things change an sometimes we like to keep things the same but unless you can afford private schools change is needed.

0 Agrees | 2 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

onefreedrink

Mar-21-13 4:46 PM

Also, if the feasibility study is scheduled, why did not one board member at the time of the meeting have that answer? And where did you get this information?

3 Agrees | 0 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

onefreedrink

Mar-21-13 4:42 PM

It was said last night this is not a financial decision but in the messenger article covering the pv board meeting they said it is a financial decision. A feb 10th article in the messenger said pv is on the no child left behind list. Nowhere did anyone say we didn't get more money for sharing students, I asked if we get more money for sharing students. The feeling that this is just happening isn't false. The agenda they put out was vague at best and said right on it there was going to be a vote on sharing, no other details about just discussion. That shocked a lot of people, maybe just an omit on the paper but definitely not a good one

4 Agrees | 0 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

jdsmith

Mar-21-13 4:30 PM

The feasiblity study is scheduled in the next month. It has been scheduled for over 6 months. The state does it when they have time, and that is all there is too it. This committee is just starting to talk and have meetings and you are expecting a full powerpoint presentation on the benefits, costs and a full financial profile of both schools. Did you honestly to expect them to have all that ready last night. Why are you so worked up over something that is just getting started.? There isn't even a plan in place. Give them time to get those things put together. This isn't going to happen overnight.

As for the inaccuracies there were several. Statements that PV is financially flat was false, the statement that PV is on the No Child left behind list was false, the statement that we don't get additional money for sharing the students was false, the statement that this is just happening is false. There were too many to count.

1 Agrees | 2 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

IAMOM3

Mar-21-13 4:10 PM

jdsmith - how were the questions that were asked "not on point and inaccurate?" The questions that were asked were about where and when facts would be given, where kids would go, what classes would be available, finances. How are those not on point? I was there. I asked questions. It is about what's best in order to give our kids a QUALITY education, but at what expense? Where is the feasibility study that was promised? And the survey that was promised? All I want is the information in order to make an educated decision about where I'm sending my kids to school.

1 Agrees | 2 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

onefreedrink

Mar-21-13 4:04 PM

I asked for stats and facts to show how this is the right decision. Asked for options. A board member asked about the feasibility study that the board approved a year ago and then never acted on. I would like the board to present facts if they are posed a question, this was not the case. I am all for looking at what is best for my kids, but I want the board to present possibilities not just say this is what we want to do.

3 Agrees | 0 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

jdsmith

Mar-21-13 3:41 PM

Also, I went to the meeting last night, and think the Board did a really good job answering questions and explaining that this is NOT a consolidation. It is simply agreeing to talk about a whole grade sharing. There are people on the Dayton Leader saying they were "disrespected, and danced around" and that is not true. The questions were not on point and inaccurate. There was also a person that commented to PV's No child left behind status, saying they had 2 strikes? The fact is, PV is not on the Watch list this year. SWG however is. PV's test scores are also higher. All of this is available on the DE website. All I am saying is do some fact checking before you address the board. I understand emotion, but both districts will have to put that aside and truly look at what is best for the EDUCATION of the kids. Ogden is in serious talks with Boone, so when you say Ogden, understand Boone is where you will end up. No District of 550 or 600 will be able to stand alone, period.

0 Agrees | 3 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

Anderson

Mar-21-13 3:36 PM

Precisely, hawkeyes... It's time to get past the bad blood of yesteryear, which has left both districts with little other choice with respect to both geography and suitable existing facilities, and do what's best for the students. Gowrie already has the high school facilities needed, and the longer rides are less a problem for that age group; Burnside is more centrally situated with adequate facilities for the middle school; and the student population is sufficent for elementary schools in existing facilities on both the west and east ends of a combined district. If families on the peripheries of either district have other preferences, let them go. Ft. Dodge may be the ultimate alternative anyway if something is not done about Iowa taxes that discriminate against small town businesses.

0 Agrees | 2 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

jdsmith

Mar-21-13 3:29 PM

Not fast. More about the parents than the kids.

2 Agrees | 1 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

jdsmith

Mar-21-13 3:28 PM

@ Need6letters. Ogden just announced that they will need to cut $500K from their budget next year, and you are worried about PV's finance? PV is not in the red this year nor will it be next year. There is a misconception about that. The writting is on the wall for both districts that falling enrollment numbers will decrease the spending authority for each of them. This is fast nor is it an over reaction on either's part. If a whole grade sharing agreement is not reached, PV will make cuts to programs to enusure they stay positive. (They will not go in the red.) Programs that SWG currently can't offer, and share with PV already. Then SWG will be left with less programs and no way to get them back. Is that what is best for the kids? I have heard a lot about "not convienent", or "we don't like them" or "why should we bail them out?". The reality is that with an enrollment of 550 kids, SWG is headed for hard times as well. It sounds like it is more about th

0 Agrees | 3 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

hawkeyes37

Mar-21-13 2:53 PM

Wake up people BEFORE you find yourselves driving to Ft. Dodge to visit your child's teacher becauseIF you keep passing up opportunities to join your fellow neighboring school district AND they decide to go around you, then guess who's left besides the BIG SCHOOL down the road!?!??! Even though we don't like to admit to it, it's all about the kids and money! Costs keep going up while the enrollment is trending down! So either get in gear and have more babies, or get a clue and start talking before "times up" and opportunities are NOT knocking on your door anymore!!!

3 Agrees | 2 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

Derteufel

Mar-21-13 10:48 AM

not to mention PV has to share a Superintendent, kinda bias i think... just because you share Superintendents doesnt mean the school has to share with that school, i wonder which teachers are going to get axed #6 on the Whole Grade Hanbook action timeline "Deadline to terminate Teachers" April 30... how sad the superintendent obviously knows shes safe, her fingers are in the "pie"

3 Agrees | 2 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

IAMOM3

Mar-21-13 10:24 AM

The quote attributed to Emily Clausen is taken out of context. Her response to "How did this happen? I don't know that this is a good idea. I don't have a big vision of our future, but I don't know that whole-grade sharing is the right answer" is a direct question to other board members as to how the board went to discussing sharing wrestling and cross country two meetings ago to all of a sudden sending a three-person committee to meet with PV and begin whole-grade sharing discussions. Her comment wasn't made as to how enrollment is declining. Her "vision" statement was also in response to questions posed by board president Grant Gibbons and again, not in response to why the district is discussing whole-grade sharing. Her comments are very much taken out of context. I do, however, feel that last night's meeting between the board and the public was very civil and I look forward to the board bringing forth the facts promised at future meetings and public hearings.

2 Agrees | 2 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

Derteufel

Mar-21-13 9:53 AM

I personally dont know if this is a necesity or not, or if its just the school following suit... it does seem to be kinda rushed... I dont think sharing with PV is the answer though... sounds likr the death of this school.. the real questions that need to be asked is what other options are out there, SEW-G covers a lot of area if you think about it..looking at the posted district monetary numbers always seemed PV like running in the red and SEW in the black... Ogden Schools are left... since you asked

2 Agrees | 3 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

Need6letters

Mar-21-13 9:05 AM

Kudos to the board majority for forward thinking. This is about what is best for kids. Sharing means more opportunities, more classes, etc. You also have to look ahead. According to yesterday's article if SWG says "no" PV goes to MNW to look at sharing. What schools are left for SWG to share with in the future if PV goes another direction?

1 Agrees | 3 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

Dodger13

Mar-21-13 8:31 AM

"How did this happen?" she asked. "I don't know that this is a good idea. I don't have a big vision of our future, but I don't know that whole-grade sharing is the right answer."

If she was my board member I would be concerned. Sharing needs to start quickly. Can't believe it hasnt happened yet.

4 Agrees | 0 Disagrees | Report Abuse »

Showing 22 of 22 comments
 
 

 

I am looking for: