South Page has extended its sharing agreement with the Clarinda Community School District for another year.
A joint work session between the Clarinda School District Board of Directors and the South Page School Board was held Tuesday, June 16, to discuss the sharing of students, classes, activities and food service. The work session was held over Zoom with each board meeting in its respective board room.
Clarinda Superintendent Chris Bergman opened the session by thanking the South Page board for helping create a good working relationship between the two districts.
"Having us work together only makes us stronger," Bergman said.
South Page Superintendent Tim Hood said South Page was looking forward to improving the relationship moving forward. To that end, Hood said the South Page board had already approved a proposal to continue the sharing agreement, in which South Page students attend classes at Clarinda High School for part of the day and may also participate in Clarinda activities, for the 2020-2021 school year.
"The South Page board would like to approve the agreement that we did last year for another year,” Hood said. “Then, who knows where it goes from there. The only thing that would potentially change that is if we have some late staff that would leave and we were not able to hire them back, we would ask for the possibility of more than the three periods a day that we come up there now."
If South Page were forced to send students to Clarinda for more than three periods, Hood said his district would like to have discussions about South Page students having lunch at Clarinda.
The food service directors for both districts have worked together to develop a system for the purchasing of supplies and billing for the programs.
"I feel really good about where we're at with the food services," Bergman said.
"Our director here very much appreciated being able to work with your folks. They did the vast majority of the paperwork and those kinds of things for us,” Hood said. “We were very, very pleased that we were actually operating in the black for the first time in a very long time.”
Bergman and Hood said they also had preliminary discussions about the possibility of sharing a high school guidance counselor. Hood said South Page may have an in-house option for its counselor position, but that individual is not yet certified.
"Since our students meet up there part of the day, it would make it easy to have our staff member go up there during the day sometimes so our students would see a face they would know as well and be able to work through processes easier that way,” Hood said. “Potentially, we would like for your counselor to come here occasionally, especially so our eighth graders would know who she is."
"This year, Audra Riddle in the elementary did support South Page students. She really enjoyed it. In terms of if we went to some counselor sharing at the high school level, one thing Tim and I had talked about is just what that would look like," Bergman said. "One of the things that we want in our 'students first' focus is the majority of a counselor's time be with students. Right now there are several other responsibilities that are on that individual."
Currently, South Page shares its Teacher Leadership Compensation program director with Sidney. However, Hood said it may be more advantageous for Clarinda and South Page to share the program. The TLC program leaders coordinate professional development sessions for the school districts.
"As this relationship grows, we obviously think it's important our students are learning the things they need to learn to be successful at your high school,” Hood said. “So, we would like to propose that we figure out how to start having our in-services and TLC times as districts together as well.”
"We had some great conversations in terms of aligning our calendars so that could be on the table as a potential option," Bergman said.
In other discussions, South Page Athletic Director Curtis Maassem said he spoke with Clarinda Activities Director Josh Porter about the dance program South Page offered last year. Maassem said it did not appear South Page would have any students for the program next year, so he asked Porter if Clarinda would like to take over the program.
Bergman said she would speak with Porter about the status of the dance program.