Bement meeting to discuss future of high school

Bement meeting to discuss future of high school

BEMENT — The Bement school board has called a special meeting for Wednesday to discuss the future of its high school.

A consultant in January recommended the district deactivate the high school and keep K-8 students, but board members could also opt to continue to house all students or pursue a different form of reorganization.

The district has 343 students, including 109 in the high school.

Board members have until August to get any reorganization referendum on the November ballot, but Superintendent Sheila Greenwood hopes the board can determine the district's overall direction sooner to ease uncertainty in the community.

"The board is hoping to decide what to do as it moves forward," Greenwood said. "The uncertainty is hard on everyone and it's time for the community to settle down and stop being worried about their school."

Bement Chamber of Commerce President Tabitha Elder said the issue is of concern to business leaders and realtors. "We have heard concerns from real estate people in Monticello, from people wondering if they should build (in Bement) or not, and what the resale value would be," Elder said.

Declining enrollment and finances helped spur the reorganization study. The number of students has dropped from 400 overall and 133 in the high school since 2006.

The board is also expected to approve seven high school cooperative sports agreements with Cerro Gordo on Wednesday. The renewals — needed every two years — were tabled April 9 because Bement wanted to clear up some language issues in the contracts.

Bement hopes to get more control over when the one high school football game is played at its high school during seasons that feature just four home games.

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