We will be using this page to update the public on the potential reorganization of the Algona CSD and Lu Verne CSD.
"NEW" VOTER PRECINCTS: NOTICE OF ELECTION
Hancock County Voters- Hancock County voters (who live in the Lu Verne CSD territory) will all vote in Corwith (Hancock County precinct #4 and #8 are combined for this vote)
Timeline of events:
During the 2014-2015 school year Corwith-Wesley & Lu Verne began sharing all sports with the Algona CSD.
In 2015-2016 school year the Corwith-Wesley CSD was dissolved and the Lu Verne CSD began the whole-grade sharing of students (in grades 7-12) to the Algona MS/HS.
In 2018-2019 Lu Verne moved to include the 6th grade to the MS sharing program with Algona.
In 2019-2020 school year the Lu Verne CSD and Algona CSD applied for "Joint Employment" incentives from the State of Iowa (which will amount to around $2.4 million over three years) and these benefits began in the 2020-2021 school year. Part of the Joint Employment process is to show that we are making progress towards reorganization. Year 1 of the application we showed what we were sharing, year two both boards appointed a reorganization committee to come up with a petition to be placed on the ballot so we can reorganize the two districts into one. Year three would include the vote for reorganization (we are aiming for the September 13, 2022 election date) and then the process leading into the newly formed district (which would potentially take place on July 1, 2023).
2020-2021 Year 1 of Joint Employment (incentives = approximately $800,000) submit application to the School Budget Review Committee for approval
2021-2022 Year 2 of Joint Employment (= approximately $800,000) both districts appoint members to the Reorganization Committee to come up with a petition for reorganization of the Algona CSD and Lu Verne CSD into a new school district.
2022-2023 Year 3 of Joint Employment (= approximately $800,000) potentially contains the vote by the public on the reorganization of both districts. Hoping to have the vote on September 13, 2022 for reorganization to take place on July 1, 2023.
2023-2024 Year 1 of the Reorganization of the Algona CSD and Lu Verne CSD into one new school district. We would receive additional financial incentives from the state for the next three years.
2024-2025 Year 2 of Reorganization (additional financial incentives from the state).
2025-2026 Year 3 of Reorganization (final year of additional financial incentives from the state).
Both Algona CSD and Lu Verne CSD are financially in very good shape. But understand that rural Iowa is losing students and staff at a quickening pace and this has the potential to really hurt both school districts. Without students and staff we may struggle to continue to offer the great programs we presently have or even potentially struggle to try and add newer programs.
In 2005 Algona and Lu Verne had a combined enrollment of 1399 students. In 2020 Algona and Lu Verne had a combined enrollment of 1408 students or an increase of just 9 students. During that time frame Algona and Lu Verne have taken in two addition school districts (Titonka CSD and Corwith-Welsey CSD). So this is really the combination of 4 school districts instead of 2. Only having an increase of 9 students over 15 years is a sign of what is happening in rural Iowa. Students and families are moving to the more urban areas of Iowa (hence why Waukee grows over 500 students every year).
Also rural Iowa schools are struggling to hire qualified staff (like many other rural businesses). For the first semester of the 2021-2022 school year Algona had two teaching positions they could not fill (they have now hired people for second semester but had to use long term subs in the first semester). Lu Verne had one position they couldn't fill and have filled it with a great long term sub. Both districts were extremely lucky to find quality people to temporarily fill in for us and they are doing an awesome job, but we still need long term hires. Iowa also has been producing fewer teachers in their teacher prep programs and more teachers are leaving the profession early. Now throw in the increase in requirements from the state and federal government and we feel it is the right time to explore combing our two districts into one district.
Reorganization Committee Members:
Community Members- Lara Kleier, Justin Davis, and Haley Offerman
Board Members- Rodney Davis, Andrea Vinci, Lany Mitchell, and Charles (Chick) Legler
Staff Members- Kira Carroll, Peter Waltz, and Nicole Studer
Administrators: Jon Hueser and Joe Carter
Reorganization Committee Meetings (including meeting documents):
1. December 6, 2021 @ 5:30 in the Algona PAC board room (public is invited to attend)
Algona/Lu Verne Reorganization Committee letter - Dec 6, 2021
Algona/Lu Verne Meeting 1 presentation - Dec 6, 2021
Algona/Lu Verne "DRAFT" school boundary - Dec 6, 2021
2. December 20, 2021 @ 5:30 in the Algona PAC board room (public is invited to attend).
Algona meeting 2 Draft Petition Proposal - Dec 20, 2021 (must now go to attorney for double check before finalized)
3. January 6, 2022
Final approved Petition - July 6, 2022
4. March 11, 2022 -- Signed petitions delivered to the Prairie Lakes AEA
5. May 17, 2022 (5:00pm in the Algona MS/HS) -- Prairie Lakes Area Education Agency boundary objection meeting (public comment).
This meeting was held in the PAC Boardroom in Algona. The Prairie Lakes AEA Board had no written objections (had to have been received by may 9, 2022) to the proposed boundary of the combined school district. They then moved to open up the meeting for public comments. During that time nobody spoke for or against the proposed petition (4 guests were in attendance). Based on that information the AEA Board then approved the following resolution (next step is the Prairie Lakes AEA Administrator requests the county place the petition on for a special election to be held in September 2022).
Questions or comments:
Please direct your questions or comments to either:
Joe Carter - Supt Algona CSD
Jon Hueser- Supt/Principal Lu Verne CSD