Palestine Unit 3 will pursue consolidation feasibility studies with both Hutsonville and Robinson school districts.
The Unit 3 school board Tuesday night approved pursuing feasibility studies with Unit 1 and Unit 2. Superintendent Joe Sornberger will solicit bids from companies that perform the service, and coordinate with the other superintendents to agree on one.
One catch is that Palestine will only agree to the studies if its portion of the cost does not come from district funds. Sornberger said he believes there are funds available, and will be looking at private donations or grants. Each study is expected to cost around $10,000, with the districts splitting the cost.
Hutsonville and Palestine had discussed re-evaluating a feasibility study from 10 years ago, but with pursuing a study with Robinson, they need to have comparable studies.
Going along with the feasibility study, Sornberger reported on the results of the survey that was sent out last month. Of the 1,100 surveys sent out only 155 were returned. Sornberger said that is not really enough to draw firm conclusions, but it does give a feel for what some people in the district are thinking.
The overall consensus of the returned surveys was that Unit 3 needs to investigate options with regard to consolidation. Sornberger said he is still sifting through the comments and suggestions, and will post the results on the school website.
Trustee Shari Eckert said the survey is a good start and will help them make short-term decisions while they gather information to make long term decisions.
In other business, the board approved the tuition waiver for students of full-time employees of the district, released closed meeting minutes from July 15 to Dec. 16, 2013, and approved destruction of closed session recordings prior to July 1, 2012.
January and December weather-related school closings necessitate a revision of the school calendar. The district will extend the calendar to make up for those days missed. They requesting two days be named Act of God days that do not have to be made up. The new calender puts the last day of school on May 29, with teacher institute on May 30.
Based on the new calendar, high school graduation will be Saturday, May 24, at 2 p.m., and eighth grade graduation will be Tuesday, May 27, at 7 p.m.
The board accepted the resignation of long-time junior high track coach Becky McKinley and approved posting that position.