Bement district looking at offer from Monticello

Bement district looking at offer from Monticello

BEMENT — The Bement school district is showing interest in an offer from neighboring Monticello to share facilities and/or other instructional resources in the future.

The Bement school board decided the idea was worth investigating, and authorized superintendent Sheila Greenwood to contact Monticello school officials.

Monticello superintendent Vic Zimmerman sent a letter to other Piatt County schools last month asking if they wish to cooperate in future endeavors. The issue was not on the Bement school board agenda this week, but audience member Janice Fogerson pushed it during public comment.

"I feel desperate about this," said Fogerson, who expressed frustration at the lack of discussion on the school's future despite a feasibility study completed with neighboring Cerro Gordo in January.

"I really, really, really want you to have the same conversation with Monticello," Fogerson added.

A consultant recommended Bement deactivate its high school and pay to send those students to another district, most likely Cerro Gordo. But Monticello is a few miles closer, and opens up the possibility of sending high schoolers there or to more than one district.

School board member Jodi Wright feels deactivation is a "Band-Aid. We all have 100-year-old schools, they are ancient, and they aren't state of the art. We need to have a countywide high school, and that is my personal opinion on the matter."

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