About 110 people gathered at the Adair-Casey High School Tuesday evening for a Community Meeting on current enrollment numbers and district finances, and to discuss the results of a recent community survey, along with options for the district’s future and potential Whole Grade Sharing partners.
Adair-Casey Superintendent Steve Smith told KJAN News, he hopes those who attended the meeting and viewed a PowerPoint presentation, came away with a firm sense of what it was the Board intends to do with regard to the future of the district. He said the Board is committed to Whole Grade Sharing.
The District has explored its options with regard to Whole Grade Sharing, reaching out to the CAM, Guthrie Center and West Central Valley School District Board of Education and holding discussions with those entities. Smith said the decision on what course of action they will take is coming soon. He said they plan to narrow down their choice in July or August [late Summer or early Fall]. Smith says the decision will affect not only Adair-Casey, but plans other districts may already have in-place, so it’s not a decision they’ll make lightly.
According to the Iowa Dept. of Education, 17-percent of school districts in Iowa are involved in Whole Grade Sharing. 26 districts didn’t offer high schools, seven new districts merged in 2014-15 and one district dissolved. Since 1984, there are 101 fewer schools districts, in Iowa.
In the PowerPoint presentation to district patrons, the Board explained it’s goals are to: Put children and academics 1st; Provide direction for the future of the district based on data; Maintain a pre-K through 8th grade facility; preserve local control over decision that impact the communities; and listen to all constituents’ views and opinions.
The current data shows next year’s enrollment will not support a balanced budget at Adair-Casey, and that eight out of 13 classes will have less than 20 students, in-all. For 2015-16, the enrollment data shows A-C will be down about 15 students, which means $100,000 less revenue for the district. An additional 15 students will be lost for the 2016-17 school years, creating a $195,000 financial impact, lowering the district’s cash reserve and spending authority.
More information is on the PowerPoint presentation that you can view for yourself on the district’s website at http://www.accs.k12.ia.us/a-c-community-meeting-62315.cfm