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Iron Range School Districts Discuss Sharing a Superintendent, Other Services

Updated: June 11, 2019 10:34 PM

Two Iron Range school districts will likely be making changes to the way they operate starting with sharing a Superintendent. That and changes to other services were discussed at a Joint Committee meeting Tuesday night. 

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No vote took place. Tuesday was the initial meeting between the Hibbing and Chisholm School Boards to discuss their collaboration efforts.

One member pointed out a study done on the shared needs of both districts that they can collaborate on. Transportation was one. Ideas that were brought up included sharing busing and possibly consolidating bus routes for the two districts. Other ideas surrounded around the schools' curriculum, career technical pathways program and position openings. 

Jeff Polcher, the Hibbing School Board Vice-Chair and other members said they are not doing this to cut jobs, but for the benefit of students. He also says this is not about consolidation, contrary to what many people may believe. 

"This is not about consolidation by any means. This is strictly cooperating and trying to share services and seeing where we can go with it," said Polcher. "It's a good way to save money. It gives smaller districts like ours and Chisholm the opportunity to have other programs that maybe they couldn't afford on their own."

Polcher says they have already taken steps to move forward with both districts sharing a Superintendent. Tuesday, the boards' discussed a contingency plan for that as well as what hours, and other expectations would look like. They say this is something that will happen, the question is when. For now, they will continue talks and we're told a vote is expected in the coming weeks.

Polcher says they have begun looking a candidates and have gotten applications in for that position.

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