Highland, Lone Tree schools to study sharing agreements

RIVERSIDE?The Highland CSD School Board held a joint board meeting with Lone Tree CSD on Wednesday, Nov. 8 in the Highland Board Room.

This was the second joint board meeting the two districts have had this fall .

The boards are considering the operational sharing of the following positions:

The Superintendent from Lone Tree being shared with Highland CSD,the Transportation Director from Highland CSD being shared with Lone Tree, the Building and Grounds/Maintenance Director from Highland being shared with Lone Tree, and the Human Resources Director from Highland being shared with Lone Tree.

The end result for both districts is an additional $139,944 of revenue for each district. 8 Years ago the state of Iowa implemented the concept of Operational Sharing.

During the initial enactment of the law, schools were allowed to share positions for up to the equivalent of 40 students.

When that law expired after the initial five years, the Iowa Legislature reenacted the law, expanded the positions that can be shared and limited it to 21 students.

The number of 21 students means that each district will receive revenue equal to having an additional 21 students on their Oct. 1 enrollment count.

For the 2017-2018 school year, each student equals $6,664. Each position shared is worth a certain number of students.

The Superintendent position is worth 8 students for a total of $53,312 each district. Transportation Director is worth 5 students for a total of $33,320 each district. Human Resource Director is worth 5 students for a total of $33,320 each district. Maintenance Director is also worth 5 students for an additional $33,320 each district. If you added up the four positions being proposed, it would total 23 students but the state puts a 21 student cap on funding.

Operational sharing occurs in almost every school district in the state of Iowa. Over 50 districts in the state currently have a shared superintendent. The advantages to operational sharing is to share cost of administrative positions while also generating additional revenue that enhance educational programming.

The dollars generated from Operational Sharing results in savings to the district?s general funds that can be used for additional teaching staff and expanded programming.

This agreement would be reviewed for possible renewal on an annual basis.

The desire of the Highland CSD and Lone Tree CSD is to maintain their separate identities while enhancing opportunities for students.

Lone Tree and Highland currently have a limited number of course offerings that they share. These include Career and Technical classes and Calculus. The districts also share an ELL instructor. The goal of the operational sharing is not to consider consolidation between the two districts. However, it is hoped that the districts will look at academic needs and programming and potentially find ways to be more efficient and expand opportunities for students. Potential for additional classes or activities that could be offered to each district will be discussed with the goal of expanded course offerings for all students.

The next step is for a community meeting to be held in the Highland Media Center at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 29th and a community meeting to be held in the Lone Tree Media Center at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 6. Parents, students and patrons of the district who have questions or want to learn more are encouraged to attend one or both of these meetings. Representatives from both districts will be in attendance.

Each Board of Education will have this as a discussion item on their regular board agenda in December. If all goes well, it will possibly be up for an action item on the January regular board meeting.?