Alta-Aurelia School Board Presents at IASB Annual Convention
Alta and Aurelia attempted to share athletics and classes in the 1990's but were unsuccessful in their first endeavor. So, they tried again in 2011 with a whole-grade sharing agreement. This agreement proved successful and the communities overwhelmingly passed a reorganization vote.
A team of district representatives was selected to lead an interactive discussion at the annual Iowa Association of School Boards Convention held in at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines on November 16th. They shared key points and offered tips on how other school districts can replicate their accomplishment. The Alta-Aurelia presentation was identified by IASB as a "Public Education Promotion" session.
Board members participating in the presentation "From Whole Grade Sharing to Reorganization: If At First You Don't Succeed...." were Jennifer Kaskey, Gigi Nelson, and Brad Rowher along with Superintendent Lynn Evans. The session was an IASB "deeper dialogue" session which included significant time for the session attendees to ask questions, make comments, and discuss with others at their tables on the topics of whole grade sharing and school reorganization.
Alta-Aurelia school board members shared their insight into the processes of whole grade sharing and school reorganization. They told their story of how Alta CSD and Aurelia CSD successfully became Alta-Aurelia Community School District after attempting to share in the 1990's and going their separate ways. The board members offered suggested ideas that worked for Alta-Aurelia to manage a successful whole grade sharing agreement that maintained the focus on what was best for the students. Communication (with parents, patrons, staff and each other), teamwork between the school boards, keeping kids first in decision making, and developing public support, were identified as key pieces that other schools looking towards sharing or reorganizing should consider as focal points.