With administrators of the Emmetsburg and Ruthven-Ayrshire School Districts working on setting up a Partial Day sharing arrangement between the two districts, members of the Emmetsburg Community School Board were updated on the progress of those efforts in a special board meeting Wednesday morning, Jan. 23.
Emmetsburg Superintendent John Joynt noted that the discussions have progressed very well in the past few weeks, and in the course of coming up with possible courses for Ruthven-Ayrshire students to take in Emmetsburg, Emmetsburg High School Principal Fred Matlage and Guidance Counselor Trent Griggs had come up with a list of possible courses for RA students to choose from. "We actually came up with 47 options for courses," Joynt noted. "That's a few too many to choose from for a four-hour day."
"Ruthven-Ayrshire's students are going to be given the list of possible class choices and they will have to make some choices," Matlage explained as he handed out a list of class options, broken up by grade level, that the RA students would be asked to choose from. Matlage noted that in talks with Ruthven-Ayrshire, the possibility of music being available for RA students was discussed. "We brought that request back to Mr. Fog and Mr. Phillips and they have both been very supportive. What we have been able to do is figure out a way to alternate band and choir to allow the RA students an opportunity to participate in those groups, which would also include the Black and Gold Show Choir, which would rehearse during that period."
The principal also noted that in the industrial technology area, courses for woods were set up for sophomores, while metals would be offered to juniors and construction technology would be offered for seniors.
"Right now, RA has to give their kids these sheets and let them make their choices for the classes they want to take while they're in our building," Matlage said. "Once we have their choices back in our hands and have some numbers, Mr. Griggs and I can set up a final class schedule. Right now, we have 16 or 17 different class schedule versions worked out, so we're done with the hypothetical. Now it's time for the reality."
Joynt also presented the board with a draft version of a sharing contract, explaining various areas of the agreement, including provisions for tuition costs over the term of the agreement. "All of this is negotiable, this is just a draft version to give you an idea of what is addressed in such an agreement."
"Who is responsible for discipline?" asked Board member Tammy Naig.
"When students are in our building, they are our students and subject to our discipline policies," Matlage answered. "If a Ruthven-Ayrshire student is issued a detention, Mr. Josephson has assured us that student will be held accountable for that in Ruthven. The only issue we would not have authority over would be expulsion, and that would be a Ruthven-Ayrshire board issue."
"As I look at this, my opinion is that I would like to see a five-year agreement," Board member Rick Brennan noted. "The next step is for Ruthven-Ayrshire to look over this draft agreement and the classes and get some numbers on student interest in classes from them," Joynt noted. "Then, we would need to get both boards together for a joint meeting to discuss the agreement."
In discussions, the administrators had set Monday, Jan. 28, for a joint meeting at Emmetsburg, starting at 7:05 p.m. As Emmetsburg was to host the Iowa High School Music Association Show Choir Contest that evening, the Emmetsburg board invited Ruthven-Ayrshire board members, students and district patrons to attend the performances of the Emmetsburg Junior Varsity show choir at 6:35 p.m. and the Varsity show choir at 8 p.m., as well as to offer tours of the high school.