ST. JOHN — St. John-Hudson Superintendent James Kenworthy has cast a consolidation line out to two neighboring Stafford County school districts, but the strategy has yielded no “bites” yet. St. John’s recent school board minutes indicated Kenworthy would contact a neighboring district to explore the possibility of future consolidation.
Kenworthy said his intent was to preserve five years of guaranteed state funding if St. John USD 350 was able to work out a future arrangement with Stafford USD 349 or Macksville USD 351. So far, no luck.
“Our primary purpose is be able to assure state funding for five years,” Kenworthy said. “Nothing will happen this year or any time in the future at this time.”
Kenworthy said St. John officials made contact with Macksville USD 351 to gauge possible interest, but Macksville Superintendent Mike Harvey had indicated there was no interest. Kenworthy believes Macksville might work out a consolidation plan with Lewis USD 502 in the future.
He also contacted Superintendent Mary Jo Taylor at Stafford, a neighboring district. But again there was no interest at this point.
“However, we have started, and will continue to share school resources with Stafford,” he said. “We currently share an elementary counselor, a Spanish teacher and a family and consumer-science teacher, all who work for both school districts,”
St. John competes in the Central Prairie League, which features Claflin and Quivira Heights consolidating to form Central Plains USD 112 next school year.
“We’ve been in conversation with those school districts,” he said.
Three Kansas districts will finish school district disorganizations/consolidations effective July 1, 2011.
On November 9, 2010, the state board chair signed an order disorganizing USD 228 (Hanston), Hodgeman County and attaching its territory to USD 227 (Jetmore) Hodgeman with an effective date of July 1, 2011. On December 14, 2010, an order was signed disorganizing USD 424 (Mullinville) Kiowa County and attaching its territory to USD 422 (Kiowa County Schools) effective July 1, 2011. On December 14, 2010 an order was signed consolidating USD 451 (B & B) and 442 (Nemaha Valley Schools), effective July 1, 2011 to USD 115 to be known as Nemaha Central Schools USD 115.
For 2010-11, there will be 289 districts, down from 293 USDs in 2009-10.
Here are other recent Kansas consolidations or disorganizations:
2010 — USD 328 Lorraine and USD 354 Claflin consolidate to create USD 112 Central Plains; USD 441 Sabetha and USD 488 Axtell consolidate to create USD 113 Prairie Hills; USD 406 Wathena and USD 486 Elwood consolidate to create USD 114 Riverside;
USD 213 West Solomon disorganizes and combines with USD 211 Norton.
2009 — USD 279 Jewell dissolves and transfers territory to USD 107 Rock Hills and USD 273 Beloit; USD 425 Highland and USD 433 Midway schools consolidate to create USD 111 Doniphan West schools.
2008 — USD 238 West Smith Co. and USD 324 Eastern Heights consolidate to create USD 110 Thunder Ridge schools.
2006 — USD 104 White Rock and USD 278 Mankato consolidate to create USD 107 Rock Hills; USD 221 North Central and USD 222 Washington Schools consolidate to create USD 108 Washington County schools; USD 427 Belleville and USD 455 Hillcrest consolidate to create USD 109 Republic County; USD 295 Prairie Heights dissolve with most students going to USD 412 Hoxie.
2005 — USD 301 NesTreLaGo dissolves with most students going to USD 106 Western Plains.
2004 — USD 302 Ransom and USD 304 Bazine consolidate to create USD 106 Western Plains.
2003 — USD 317 Herndon and USD 318 Atwood consolidate to create USD 105 Rawlins County.
2002 — USD 280 Morland and USD 281 Hill City consolidate into USD 281 Hill City.