Washington Evening Journal
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Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 27, 2014

Countdown for formal plan between districts

By Mary Zielinski | Dec 14, 2012

WELLMAN — Calling the four years Mid-Prairie has had a 28E agreement with the Keota School district “mutually beneficial,” the Mid-Prairie Board Monday put a May 31, 2013 deadline for creation of a formal plan between the two districts.  Without such a plan, the 2013-14 academic year will be the last one in which the Mid-Prairie superintendent and other staff are shared with Keota.
The deadline is part of an addendum to the 28E Agreement approved by M-P at its Monday meeting.  In it, the M-P  board stated that districts do not exist to serve boards, staffs or even communities but to provide “the best possible personal and professional opportunities” for their students.
The statement notes that Mid-Prairie’s primary “motivation” for entering into the agreement was to enhance student opportunities for both districts.  Instead, from the Mid-Prairie perspective, choices and learning quality in both districts “have remained essentially unchanged in the past four years and planning for any changes has been informal at best.”
The change in the agreement reflects recent discussions between the boards and Keota earlier said it would have a “decision” by mid-March or early April of 2013.
Approval of the addendum came after a closed session for the superintendent evaluation in which Superintendent Mark Schneider accepted a contract from Mid-Prairie that included remaining a shared superintendent with Keota for 2013-14.  While he is a Mid-Prairie employee, his salary is shared 50-50 with Keota.  All benefits are from Mid-Prairie.
In his commitment statement, Schneider referred to the sharing arrangement as “personally and professionally challenging and rewarding” and that “at the present time the positives outweigh the negatives.”
Schneider had met for an evaluation session with Keota Nov. 26 during a regular Keota Board meeting.
Other shared services with Keota include the Mid-Prairie business manager and technology director.
In other business Monday, the board:
•accepted the bid from School Bus Sales of Waterloo of $171,704 ($85,852 each) to purchase two new school buses.  There also was a provision for a 20 passenger bus for $58,7563 with a trade-in of ag least $27,500, dropping ost to $31,263.
•held a first reading of school bus polices that included dealing with student issues, especially in the light of the student instigated bomb threat hoax of a few months ago and legal steps; and
• received a school board member survey that showed agreement among members on 12 of 17 questions with disagreement on four and a major disagreement on one.  The latter was a 4-3 in disagreeing when a new member joins, the board makes sure he or she has a mentor to help them “learn the ropes.”   The other disagreements related to how the board handles controversial matters.

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