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A tri-board meeting

Aguilar, Huerfano RE-1 and La Veta school boards begin talks on how to help one another

by Jaye Sudar,

Director RE-1 School Board

WALSENBURG — March 15th saw representatives from three local school boards meet at La Plaza Inn in Walsenburg for a social evening. Aguilar RE-6, La Veta RE-2 and Huerfano RE-1 representatives along with Randy Black and Matt Cook of CASB (Colorado Association of School Boards) talked about how the districts could help one another.

For many years, the three districts have ‘traded’ students and teachers. Students have traveled to each other’s districts for sports or special classes like FFA or band.

For the last five years, Margie Baudino and I have been trying to bring the three boards together. While discussing this meeting, the dreaded “consolidation” fear sprouted.

No district wants to merge with another if possible. And, in all honesty, rural districts, with supporting a very small population of students are often too far apart to merge. These three districts are prime examples of being too far apart to consolidate.

What small rural school districts can do, is band together to make the best of what we are, whether it means exploring the potential for saving money by purchasing supplies together in bulk, or finding ways to share teachers in more specialized disciplines such as foreign language, and for programs that require large numbers of students for best results, such as band or drama. Aguilar and La Veta have wonderful ag programs. La Veta is doing well academically, and Huerfano has a fantastic band and choir program.

After introductions, board members talked about what was good or needed in each district.

A camaraderie began to form on how we could help one another. CASB representatives Black and Cook mentioned the various districts which have managed such a partnership, and that many were rural.

Cook and Black were both proud and amazed that our three districts are working to pull together.

Mike Moore, superintendent of Huerfano RE-1 said he would put together a list of the items discussed and would send them to the other two superintendents. A meeting in late April is planned for further discussions.