School board reaching out to other groups

By Marcie Klomp

Me, me, me, meeeee. No. This is not a tryout for “The Voice.” But it is how most people and organizations look at the world. “Me and mine are most important because we do good things, and everyone else should bow to us.”

If you are part of a group, you should consider it a top priority, otherwise why belong? That is also how Howard-Winneshiek School Board is running things. Board members obviously want to do what is best for the students, staff and taxpayers.

But they can also see beyond the brick and mortar boundaries. They are looking at the county and region.

Last year, the school district lost about 20 students, and this year the number is 19. The school cannot, on its own, attract families. It needs to work with the county, towns, businesses and organizations to lure families into northeast Iowa and more specifically, the H-W school district.

“We moved the board meeting [from the fourth Monday to the second Monday] so we can attend other town meetings and show our support of other entities,” said Supt. John Carver at the Oct. 14 meeting, which was held at Lime Springs-Chester Elementary.

Board President Scott Fortune added, “I told [Cresco] Mayor Mark Bohle why we moved our meeting, and he was very approving.” Although Fortune did joke he hadn’t seen Bohle at any of the school board meetings either.

Board members will be asked to attend various council and supervisor and community group meetings after things settle down after the upcoming election.

“I think there will be some good information to come out of these joint meetings,” Fortune added. He continued, “LimeSprings Beef is an opportunity for jobs. A healthy school creates a healthy community . . . we need to work together and move in that direction.”

Carver noted, “The school cannot do it by itself. Every school district is shrinking in size, except for Waverly. This isn’t unique to us here. But the board’s goal to network and work with others is spot-on. If we support their efforts, they will support ours.”

The board has already started reaching out to communities by having school board meetings around the district, so community members will have easier access to attend board meetings, and board members will also find it easier to walk through the other buildings in the district.

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