North Loup-Scotia School Bond Passes - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

North Loup-Scotia School Bond Passes

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Two already combined school districts may join together to become one even bigger one.

North Loup-Scotia and Greeley-Wolbach plan to become the Central Valley Cougars this fall.

Voters in the NLS district said yes to two bonds – $245,000 for bussing, and $3.125 million for remodeled and new classrooms in Scotia. That building is set to house K-6 students. 

Later this spring, Greeley-Wolbach voters will be asked to pass their own bond to remodel the high school in Greeley for the Central Valley 7-12 students.

NLS Superintendent Jim Duval says they've already been in an "academic co-op" with GW with grades 5-12, and if GW's bond is approved, they'll move into the full merger.

He says it will make class sizes larger, but says that's not necessarily a bad thing.

"When people talk about small classes, three students is not necessarily the competition amongst students which helps out, it just is not able to happen as well as with 15 or 20," says Duval.

The two districts bus students now, and will continue to do so, but busses won't run to North Loup or Wolbach since those facilities will be closed.

"It will be a pretty good sized school district as far as travel time – this year we have bussing in all of those [two districts] and we're going to four sites, it'll be a lot less bussing when we only have to go to two sites," says Duval.

No staff will be reduced for the 2014-2015 school year, but there could be layoffs later. Duval says between retirements and teachers moving away, they hope to keep any job loss minimal.

"At the present time we both have to have a full-time staff who will be able to have, instead of classes of 10 kids, we'll have classes of 20-21 kids, which will make us much more efficient," he says.

Duval says during their study of districts that have similar valuations and student population, they found that the merger could lower the mill levy for the area.

"It probably will not help us in state aid, but it will help us cope with the loss of state aid we've had already," he says.

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