(Clarinda-College Springs) -- High school students from the South Page School District can attend classes in Clarinda beginning next school year.
Both the Clarinda and South Page School Boards approved a tuition sharing agreement for the 2019-2020 school year at their regular meetings Wednesday evening. Speaking on KMA's "Morning Line" program Thursday morning, Clarinda School Superintendent Deron Stender says classes at Clarinda High School will be made available for South Page's 9-12 graders beginning August 23rd.
"We've already had some initial meetings," said Stender. "We've met with their students, and their parents and community members. It's been a good process. I've been very proud of the transparency we've had, the communication we had with people, and the interest that we have in working together in a partnership that's going to be a benefit of students for both school districts."
Stender anticipates up to 35 South Page students taking classes in Clarinda.
"That's going to vary, depending on their grade levels," he said. "Seniors are probably not going to take as many courses at Clarinda Community Schools as freshmen, because there's more requirements for freshmen and sophmores. So, our projections indicate that the freshmen classes coming in from South Page will be taking two-to-three, maybe even four courses, sophmores anywhere from two to three, then the juniors and the seniors. It's really a buffet for them--anywhere from two to as many as six or seven if they wanted to."
South Page School Superintendent Tim Hood tells KMA News the tuition agreement helps his district from a financial standpoint.
"We'll potentially become insolvent by 2022," said Hood. "We want to be out in front on that, instead of the state telling us want to do, that our students and our community would have some say in that. So, we reached out to Clarinda to see if they would be interested with us to help in our high school issues."
Additionally, the Clarinda board approved a shared activities agreement, meaning South Page's 7-12 grade students can participate in all Clarinda extracurricular offerings except football. South Page's board acted on the agreement at a previous meeting. Hood says there is an option available for South Page students wishing to play football at Clarinda.
"I understand, to a certain extent, what the Iowa High School Athletic Association wants," he said. "I understand they have rules and regs. But, sometimes, they don't make a lot of sense. As you know, our numbers have gotten to the point where we really can't offer sports for our kids. So, for our students to participate in varsity football for next year, they have to actually open enroll into the Clarinda School District for football season, then we'll see what happens after that."
Both boards also approved agreements sharing food service directions--meaning Clarinda will oversee South Page's meal services in the coming school year, as well as a business instructor's position.