By Sheri Hink-Wagner
The Wauneta Breeze
So far, there is no new news on the possible activity cooperative agreement or district unification between Wauneta-Palisade Public Schools and Hayes Center Public Schools.
Last week the Breeze reported WP and HC school board committees had met on Feb. 4 to discuss possibly entering a cooperative agreement (co-op) for extracurricular activities or unification of the districts.
HC approached WP to discuss a possible cooperative agreement for high school sports, which resulted in the Feb. 4 meeting. However, during the discussions WP committee members pushed the HC committee to consider either a co-op of all activities for grades seven through 12 or a unification of the two school districts.
An activity co-op would entail the two districts combining on extracurricular activities (such as speech, one-act, etc.) as well as sports. The two schools would enter competitions as a new, combined team instead of individual school teams.
If the districts decide to unify, the cooperation could run deeper. With a unification the districts would also pool their resources–their tax base and students. It also offers flexibility for change.
The WP committee is strongly advocating unification of the districts.
The Nebraska School Activities Association’s (NSAA) website lists the projected 2015-2016 high school enrollment for WP and HC at 41 and 19, respectively. Of 304 school districts in Nebraska, Hayes Center ranked 298th in projected enrollment for next school year. WP ranked 265th.
If the two districts were to combine for activities, either through a co-op or unification, their combined enrollment would be 60. Brady and Medicine Valley, both schools on WP’s basketball schedule, each had 60 students this year and were D-1 schools.
The districts are on a short time line to make a decision because the NSAA deadline for next year’s school activities is April 1.
WP representatives on the committee include board president Jon Anderjaska, school board members John Jutten and Allison Sandman, as well as Randy Geier, WP superintendent.
HC representatives at the Feb. 4 meeting included new HC board president Aaron Broz, school board members Toby Cox and Dexter Lacey and Tony Primavera, HC principal and activities director.
Wauneta-Palisade Board President Anderjaska spoke with Hayes Center Board President Broz and member Dexter Lacey last week regarding continuing the discussion between the two committees.
Broz and Lacey indicated to Anderjaska the Hayes Center Board’s committee is interested in meeting with the Wauneta-Palisade committee again. However, as of Tuesday morning, a follow-up meeting has not yet been scheduled due to scheduling constraints.