Sharing negotiations to begin

A whole grade sharing agreement is set to be negotiated between the Northeast Hamilton and Webster City Community School Districts.

At their regular meeting on Monday, the Webster City Community School District Board of Directors approved a motion of intent to begin formally discussing the idea. The Northeast Hamilton School Board also approved a motion to begin negotiations at a meeting on March 13.

The boards will discuss whole grade sharing for Northeast Hamilton students in grades 7 through 12 to begin in the 2015-2016 school year. A vote to accept a sharing agreement cannot be held until 90 days after both boards have agreed to negotiate, according to Webster City Community School District Superintendent Mike Sherwood.

As such, Sherwood said the vote cannot be held prior to June 21. The boards will also have to hold a public hearing on an agreement. No exact dates have been set, but Sherwood said a vote will likely be held during the board’s last meeting in June.

At Monday’s meeting, the board also heard presentations from members of the local FFA chapter. Jess Miller, sentinel, and Nick Nuehring, assistant secretary, discussed events the Webster City FFA has taken part in this year. That included sending several members to the National FFA convention in Louisville, Ky., and giving presentations to students in younger grades.

The Webster City FFA also sold a record amount of fruit in their annual fruit sale fundraiser. Miller said the group sold more than $35,000 this year.

Webster City High School students will also have a chance to participate in a career fair hosted by the FFA this Friday. Students can visit the fair during their study hall or open campus time.

The board also heard a presentation from George Ferrell. He demonstrated his ag sales presentation that he will compete with at the state convention in April. Veldhuizen said Ferrell is new to Webster City this year and has dual-citizenship in the United States and Brazil. Veldhuizen said it’s great that Ferrell has been able to come to Webster City and compete so quickly in the state convention.

“He’s got a big success story. He’s learning American culture and for him to advance has been really neat,” Veldhuizen said.

In other business, the board adopted the fiscal year 2015 budget. According to a presentation by Sherwood, the district saw a 1.5 percent decrease in headcount enrollment. However, their total weighted enrollment increased by 0.7 percent due to sharing agreements. Preschool enrollment dropped by 7.1 percent. Sherwood said local preschool enrollment has stayed fairly consistent in the past few years, dropping from 56.5 in FY 2014 to 52.5 in FY 2015.

The next board meeting will be held April 14 at 6 p.m. in the School Administration Office Board Room.