The Aurelia School Board will hold a fact finding discussion about potential sharing with the Cherokee School Board Wednesday. Aurelia and Alta met in a similar fashion in November.
The Aurelia board will discuss both options Wednesday night. Later this month, the board will have a retreat to disseminate the information from both meetings and decide the course of action.
With enrollment numbers slipping in many of the rural school districts, and state per-pupil funding declining with it, boards at many small schools are doing their homework toward possible sharing and consolidation.
Aurelia board member Jim Hultgren commented at the Alta meeting, "We're in a fact-finding mode. We feel as a board we need to find out as much information as we can so we can make the best decisions." It was announced at that meeting that a meeting with the Cherokee board was already set up.
Aurelia is located between Alta and the larger Cherokee district along Highway 7. Alta and Aurelia have entered discussion on consolidation before, but negotiations and a former sports sharing deal ended in frustration.
Aurelia board president Kirk Nelson feels that the time is right to consider his district's future. "We can't ignore this or turn our heads," he said.
Aurelia certified 304 students this fall, down 25 from last year. On a positive note, the school has welcomed in 12 more students since that official enrollment figure was compiled.
The Aurelia/Cherokee meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the Cherokee Middle School Library.
Up for discussion are possible sharing of academics, professional development, extra-curricular activities and possible future meetings.