Reorganization Passed! ... Now What?

Posted by Lynn Evans on 9/25/2017 2:55:00 PM

On Tuesday, September 12th, the reorganization vote for the Alta Community School District and the Aurelia Community School District passed by very wide margins.  The support was more than we had expected and truly inspiring.  This was a historic day that will mark the beginning of the newly formed Alta-Aurelia Community School District.  The new school district is slated to begin, officially, on July 1st 2018.  So, what happens now?

 For the users (students, parents, staff) very little changes.  The new district will function, systemically, just as it has through whole grade sharing.  No grade level assignments will change in the near future, nor building assignments.  We felt it very important for the students, parents and staff to maintain that consistency that has, for the most part, functioned very well over the past six years.

 When we first started whole grade sharing, we took a systems approach in most everything we did.  We aligned curriculum together, purchased and adopted new materials together when needed. We set academic and student achievement goals together. We planned and brought elementary students together for field trips/pep rally’s/special events. We held all of our professional development together. We maintained the same budgeting practices, and ordered supplies/materials together.  All of this was to meet two goals. First, it enabled both school districts to become more efficient financially and educationally.  Second, to make the transition from elementary (which were separate) to middle school and high school as seamless as possible socially and academically for our students.  We also now believe that it was this systems thinking approach that has helped ease the transition from whole grade sharing to reorganization for our communities and patrons.

Moving forward, the following are some of the things (but probably not all) that need to occur between the vote passing and the start of the next school year:

  • New 7 member Alta-Aurelia School Board will be formed from existing Alta and Aurelia board members. This will be reduced to 5 board members prior to the start of the new school year.
  • Appoint an acting superintendent, acting school board secretary, and school attorney
  • Align and develop school board policies by first examining the existing Alta and Aurelia board policies
  • Written descriptions of the new boundaries of the school district need to be filed with the county auditors office of each county
  • Reorganization of real estate records
  • Align faculty and support staff salaries and benefits
  • Combine budgets, revenues and expenses
  • Official notification to Iowa Department of Management
  • Official notification to Iowa Department of Education
  • Consolidating special levies
  • New identification lettering on all buses and small vehicles
  • Combining or closing bank accounts
  • Possible issuance of a new tax I.D. number

 This is not an all-encompassing list but it shows that there is a great deal to complete between now and July 1st for the new board.  This is an exciting time to be a Warrior!