Question/Answer Page

If you would like to ask a question, type it in the comment field at the bottom where it says ‘LEAVE A REPLY’.  We will do our best to answer your questions.  Thank you for your interest in the education of our children.


44 thoughts on “Question/Answer Page

  1. Since both districts are struggling financially, and the state continues to cut funding, what will happen if the consolidation does not pass?

    • I was wondering why all communities involved were not polled, or surveyed or whatever word you would like to use , about what schools the kids would attend. You say that you want public input, and involvement, but nowhere did I ever see where WE were asked which school we would prefer for the high school and the junior high. Your committee made that decision on their own. I thought the committee of ten was formed to come up with “recommendations” , not final decisions without all community input. Also, just curious about not closing a building. I understand capacity wise all 3 are needed, but wouldn’t it be more cost- effective to add on a few more classrooms on the Jamaica building , as has been done before, rather than leaving all 3 open, and having to maintain and run all 3? We have more space to expand if necessary. Our school is 1 level and what happens if we get a student /students in H.S. that are in a wheelchair ? If the H.S. is in Catlin, how do they get to their classrooms without an elevator? There is another expense that would have to be addressed. Not sure how the ADA doesn’t require one in every 2 story building. I have been to a few of the meetings and I don’t really think that a Gps mapping system is necessary for the busses. The money spent for that could be used for add-ons to Jamaica to accommodate the kids. We are only about 7-10 minutes from Catlin. I think we are small enough we can find all our kids without it and still be efficient.

      • @anonymous: The committee of ten was formed for the purpose of gathering information and assembling a plan that the committee would then recommend be used as a blueprint to transition into the new consolidated district. If the committee attempted to make decisions based on the opinions of everybody in both districts, a decision could never be reached because all opinions are different. The committee makes every effort to base its decisions on what is best for the students. I cannot speak to the cost effectiveness of adding on to the Jamaica building and closing a building at Catlin because this idea was not considered an option. As far as ADA is concerned, Catlin high school has educated children in that building without an elevator since it was built in 1922. There is NO REASON to believe a consolidation of the two districts would somehow cause a new immediate need to build one. In the past Catlin has made provision for a student in a wheelchair.

        • Thank you Jeff and the other committee of 10 and sub committee members for your efforts on this matter and for responding to these posts with accurate information that may help offset all the misinformation out there. I hope people will see this as an opportunity to try and be properly informed if they cant seem to attend any of the meetings that are open to the public. We all need to try and be part of the solution in finding the best option at this time for our kids and communities, it wont be perfect , nothing will, but together we will be stronger. Look at all the success all our kids have had with Salt Fork sports programs, now we adults need to band together as our kids have seemed to do quite well.

    • Both districts have already begun to dip into savings in order to offset a deficit budget. With nothing positive happening at the state funding level, deeper and more painful cuts will need to be made almost immediately and more revenue will need to be secured. Deeper cuts would further impede an already struggling educational process, and the only source of additional income available is local tax dollars, which would mean a substantial property tax increase.

    • A new south county high school would require in the neighborhood of five years and $50 million to complete if the process was beginning now. Neither district has this much time, nor do the local districts possess bonding ability of this scale. A project of this size would require substantial state funding. Considering that the state will not commit to funding a project like this, it is currently not an option. Furthermore, the enrollment of such a high school would be over 1000 students. Research suggests the optimal school size to be half of that.

  2. Just to echo what Anonymous said, who seems to be the only one utilizing this question and answer feature; we should give more funding to the art and drama club programs. I’ve seen some really great accomplishments come from Catlin’s local aspiring film makers. Unfortunately there isn’t really a platform for the students to share their work. Maybe a halftime show displaying art class’s work? Or how about a pep assembly to get the kids jazzed for the creative arts?

    • @Jackson Pollack Fanatic: As the curriculum subcommittee considered how to enhance course offerings in the new district, art is one area that could see considerable growth. Currently offered are: digital photography, drawing I, 3d I and II, and intro 2d. Proposed curriculum would add sculpture, print making, textiles, ceramics advanced art, and drawing II. Of course we cannot offer everything, but we can certainly improve in many areas. As the committee is charged with the task of laying the basic framework, it would be the responsibility of the new leadership to address the suggestions you have made. Thank you for your comments and your interest in the education of our children. A comprehensive curriculum list will be posted to this website after the final consolidation plan is presented by the committee.

  3. Since both schools are on the line of being broke how will combining help. No schools being closed. Busing will be increased. A few teachers being let go will not solve the issue. An elevator at Catlin will have an added yearly cost to keep one running. (ask DHS). We know Catlin is so into their sports by putting so much money into their sports complex and not using those funds to keep up their school for education. If this passes in future years Jamaica could lose school board members to Catlin. Why was this done? Each should have the same number from each district. I want some representation always from the Jamaica district. My property tax dollars should have a voice from our area.

    • @Brenda Cheney: Due to the number of students in both districts, all buildings will be needed in a consolidation, so closing a building is not an option. The cost of operating and maintaining all buildings at both Catlin and Jamaica is just over $700,000 in a combined $9 million budget. Even if it was an option, closing one of the three main buildings would only save a third of that. The greatest cost to any district is personnel and benefits, therefore, the greatest savings will be realized through reduction in personnel. The plan that the committee will present to the boards will show substantial savings in this area. Along with that, there will be some retirements that will not need to be replaced in the consolidation. Additionally, we will gain savings by aligning administrative salaries with the new positions as they will be somewhat different in the new district. Transportation costs may slightly increase due to the daily shuttles between schools, but should be minor. A new bus route mapping program will increase efficiencies for the new district and could even eliminate a route or two. Furthermore, the students who are traveling from Catlin to Jamaica would become reimbursable by the state due to the distance they would be traveling. This could offset most of the shuttle costs. An elevator is not part of the consolidation plan. It is not required, and there are no plans to build one. The sports complex in Catlin was funded mostly by grants and donated money. I do not believe it would be fair to suggest that the sports complex has contributed to their current financial situation. Jamaica did not build a sports complex and is in the same financial condition. On the subject of board representation, state statute allows for two options. 1. Board elected by ‘at large’ process. or 2. The new district could be divided into seven districts fairly equal in population with only one person able to be elected from each of the seven districts. There is no option that allows for ‘the same number from each district’. Jamaica has had difficulty in the past with producing candidates to even run for the board. I know this first hand. The ‘seven district’ option could very possibly exclude two, or three, or even more good candidates from the same geographical area, and at the same time, another of the seven districts may not produce a single candidate. Considering all of these things, the committee decided the ‘at large’ option would be the way to go. In no way does this option limit the number of candidates that could sit on the board from the Jamaica area, but the seven district option would. The committee of ten will be discussing and presenting its final report on Saturday, March 8 at 10:00 a.m. in the Catlin HS band room. All details, including how much money will be saved, will be presented. I encourage all to attend. Thank you for posting this question. I am sure that others have the same questions.

      • it is completely wrong to say the 2 school districts are in the same financial condition. Last time I looked catlin had $800,000 in out standing bonds and Jamaica only had $100,000. The 2 schools are on opposite ends as well Jamaica will have to have electrical and heating up grades done and Catlin will have to have that as well as fire escapes and a elevator put in. So it seems to me not only is Jamaica taking on Catlin financial debt but we will also be fixing their school. So why don’t we just build a school at the Oakwood T

        • @Ed: The consolidation petition is written so that any previous bonded indebtedness will remain with the taxpayers of the districts as they were prior to consolidation, meaning Catlin taxpayers will pay the debt that they had prior to consolidation, and Jamaica taxpayers will pay the debt that they had prior to consolidation. The upgrades you speak of were included in a report as a list of things that COULD be done at some point, but are NOT REQUIRED to move forward with the consolidation and there are no current plans to do any of these things. Building a school at the Oakwood T is not possible because neither district can afford it and the state will not fund it .

  4. Has any discussion been made about the special education program? As it stands right now our kids are being shipped all over because of their special needs. ( Georgetown, Westville ect). Will the larger district allow our children to STAY in their home district? Because I honestly DISLIKE the way it is set up right now. Thank you

    • @Brandy T: Both districts currently serve students with special needs in cooperation with the Vermilion Association for Special Education. The consolidated district would continue its relationship with VASE and provide services in the same manner. Unfortunately, although the district will be larger, we would still need to use VASE for these services as opposed to providing them in district. I realize this may not be ideal for those involved, but VASE is specifically structured for this and has the resources to accommodate those needs.

  5. What about the Special Education program. My Granddaughter is now shipped to Georgetown because there is no program at Jamica for her. Would there be a program for her??

  6. what about the quality of teaching for the kids?? how is making classes bigger and getting rid of teachers going to improve the quality of education?? all i have read on here is about money money, what about the kids? i know that the issue is money and funding but to those of us with kids it is so much more.. have all the options been looked at for jamaica? reduced salarys?alternate power?raising taxes?.. i have to agree with a comment above..”Since both schools are on the line of being broke how will combining help”.(Part of the answer to that was)..”Furthermore, the students who are traveling from Catlin to Jamaica would become reimbursable by the state due to the distance they would be traveling”.
    isnt the problem we have now is the state is NOT reimbursing the schools?

    • @colby ferber: Quality of education is what we are attempting to improve with our efforts. Money, or the lack of it, is what has brought us to this point, and was the driving reason we decided to consider consolidation. The fact is, without money there is no education. From the beginning, the committee has juggled those two issues in tandem. How can we best save money, and how can we improve the education process with the money we save? Transportation money comes from a grant separate from general state aid. We spend the money on transportation and the state reimburses the district through the grant. The amount of transportation funds a district is reimbursed is based on the percentage of students who have to be bused to school. Jamaica is 100% rural. All children qualify to be bused to school. Catlin is less reimbursable than Jamaica because fewer students are required to be bused. If the Catlin Jr. High students are bused to Jamaica, they become reimbursable. While it is true that the state has hammered transportation reimbursement as of late, the addition of those students traveling would still increase the percentage we receive, even if we are not fully reimbursed. Elementary class sizes will not increase, but high school class size could, and that would be a positive thing. Resources would be more efficiently used if a teacher is teaching 10 or 12 students in a class instead of 3 or 4. You mention reduced salaries. Ask a teacher what kind of raises they have gotten in the last few years. If we reduce teacher salaries, we reduce the ability to retain quality teachers. If we cant keep quality teachers then out the window goes the very first point you make in your post. And finally, raising taxes would not be necessary in a consolidation. Great questions. Thanks for asking.

  7. One question that jumps out to me initially is why when both districts are struggling financially to staff the buildings and offer any kind of curiculum why have there been no discussions in either district about cutting extra curriculars (sports). It seems to me that in two districts with so few low income kids, sports could move to more of a fee based option and not strictly school supported. It could be implemented on the same income scale that determines free and reduced lunch. When so many are so vocal about the need for small school sports and the lasting benefits that they provide perhaps they would not mind coughing up a little more in fees to take some burden off of the districts. I for one would much rather see us be able to keep a science teacher than an athletic coach. It’s no secret that I believe we are headed in the wrong direction when assigning priorities to what we should keep. I am not against balance in a childs education but in our districts we offer way more in the way of sports offerings than we do in curriculum. All of my children have been 3 sport athletes and I know how fortunate they have been to have grown up in this little town. But the new reality is that a school of 100 – 200 kids cannot offer both advanced curriculum as well as 10 different sports for both boys and girls much less theater, shakespeare, or Yoga?? I have heard several times COT members and school Board members have stated that cost reduction is going to be accomplished with staff cuts. How is that possible when no administrators will be let go and a curriculum coordinator is to be hired. Furthermore neither school offers any kind of curriculum that one could claim is adequate for the future needs of our kids yet they are going to increase offerings while cutting staff??? This I need to see.

  8. @Mel Sanford: Currently, there is a nominal fee to play sports, but by fee based you probably mean pay to play, which would be large fees per player that cover the costs of the entire program. I cannot speak for Catlin, but Jamaica has not considered this option because it would likely mean a considerable drop off in participation. If the consolidation does not pass, it could go that way for Jamaica. While there can be arguments made about sports vs. academics, and good cases made both ways, I believe there is a balance that can be attained. Of course education is the primary function of any school district, and should be its primary focus, but a good case can be made about the importance of sports to a community as well. Sports can be a source of community pride and bonding, not to mention on an individual level, attitude, teamwork, cooperation, and giving your best. After all, many are concerned, with this consolidation, about a loss of community. I think you will be surprised at what a school of almost 300 students in a consolidation can offer if we can all accept and embrace a little change in the way things look. You are correct in stating that neither school offers any kind of curriculum that one could claim is adequate for the future needs of our kids, but together we can.

  9. I hear there was sports related issues brought up regarding consolidation and the future of educating our kids at Saturdays meeting, don’t know names and don’t care. My question, I thought all those “life and death” type issues were taken care of 20 years ago when Salt Fork co-op was formed? I have an idea to help handle these vital issues, how about a “sports board” be formed between the two boards and communities and ALL sports related issues are taken care of by those folks and the actual board of EDUCATION are left alone to deal with important things like education and funding and administrators can spend time on what they were hired to do. Just a thought?

  10. I will address this to Jeff since he seems to be the one answering for the COT. First off I have been reading this forum as well as the meeting notes very carefully so as to be as informed as possible. I am very concerned with one response in particular that has been posted here. A question was asked about the status of the South County High School to which the response was that the State lacks funds to support construction of a new school at this time. It was also stated that the enrollment of that school would be 1000 students which in the opinion of the COT is too big?? We in Catlin were led to believe that this proposed consolidation would only be the first step to a bigger plan. In fact I have heard the terms temporary solution, band aid, initial phase among others thrown around for months. Members of both boards as well as the COT have admitted that this is a short term resolution only. So my question is if the COT is not in favor of a South County High School due to size then what is the “next step”?? Before I vote for anything I need to be convinced that we have at least some goal in mind other than simply joining forces because its a good “socio-economic fit”. I realize that something has to be done. It is obvious that we cannot survive alone but there needs to be a great deal of thought given to the endgame. I realize that the COT only makes a recommendation and the voters will ultimately decide but I think everyone would rest easier knowing every scenario has been thought out not just for the 5 years but the 10 that follow that.
    Mel Sanford

  11. @Mel: Thank you for following this process as closely as you do. Our hope in providing this website was that all would use it as you are in following the process and asking questions. I am the one providing answers on this website simply because I am the person who created and manages the website. I do my best to answer the questions based on committee discussions and conclusions that have been a product of those discussions, and not interject my personal opinion. The committee was formed after the decision was made to pursue reorganization in the context of Catlin and Jamaica, so the efforts of the committee have been focused in that direction. However, the committee is aware of the fact that this solution is likely a first step toward a larger solution, and the final report from the committee will include a recommendation to the new board to actively pursue collaboration with neighboring districts on this topic. In reference to a previous post, there is research that indicates a high school of 1000 or more could cause a loss of efficiencies and according to that research the sweet spot might be somewhere between 500 and 1000. I realize that a person can probably find research to back just about any opinion out there, and I included that for informational purposes. I did not intend for that information to serve as a statement that the committee does not support a school of that size. We have not taken a poll among the committee members as to what each member considers the right student population, but the topic did come up and that information was shared. The committee agrees that a great deal of thought should be given to the end game, but with the ever changing financial landscape and uncertainty regarding the intentions of other districts, nobody can accurately pinpoint exactly what that endgame is at this point. It will likely involve districts that border us, and may or may not be in the form of a south county high school. There is no way to know right now. What we do know is that the option in front of us is a good and sensible first step in providing more opportunities for our students. The next step will be the responsibility of the new board and a different committee.

  12. I have been on the fence with the consolidation from the beginning. I can see where it would be good in some aspects. I don’t want either school to run out of funds, and I can see where consolidation would be good in that regard. However, I just read the post about other schools being included later on. I’m confused on what schools that could possibly be. Oakwood & Westville seem to be the closest neighboring schools to us in Vermilion County. From what I have been told, each are financially fine. Where is South County High School, and exactly how far is the new school board suppose to look for additional students? I for one, do not want larger class sizes. I grew up with 1,500 students in our high school. You become a number, no longer a student. I’ve seen many struggling students fall by the way side because the staff could no longer keep up with them. If the COT is making a recommendation, then I would like to know what it will be for this situation, and why. Also, I saw an earlier post about our property taxes being raised for the school. How much will our taxes be increased? I’m all for supporting our school, but I want the additional funds to go to our school, not Vermilion County. I’m sure you have this all worked out, but I’m nervous as it is, as I’m sure other people are in Jamaica and Catlin. I’m not interested in putting a band-aid on anything. I thought that was the purpose of having this committee? I don’t want to vote “Yes,” just to discover this is only the beginning for more money being spent to find out we are broke, or we will be broke in six years, and we aren’t any better off. I appreciate all of the work and time the committee has put it in, but I don’t want this battle to be the beginning with no end in sight. Truthfully, I don’t want to be told to have faith in people on a board that hasn’t even been elected. I want to keep my faith in the COT that are suppose to be looking out for kids. No, I don’t have any other solutions. I really wish that I did.

    • @Diana Cooper: The committee of ten has been charged with working out the details of a Catlin-Jamaica consolidation. One such detail, of course, is finances. Financial projections are based on income from basically two sources, local property tax, and general state aid. While projections regarding local property tax income can be figured relatively closely, the general state aid portion is more difficult to accurately predict due to the financial condition of the state. We must make general state aid projections based on current state funding levels while also considering current trends in state funding. As was shown in the meeting you attended, the financial projections for a consolidated district are much better than each district separately. However, the negative trend in state funding does continue into the new district and will have an impact down the road if nothing changes at the state level. The committee has no way of predicting what options may be available in the future. This is the reason that the committee is recommending that the new board look into options with other districts. I am not sure which post you are referring to regarding raising taxes, but a consolidation would not cause a tax increase. If the consolidation does NOT pass, it is likely that there would be a tax increase. If you are waiting on the committee to come up with a perfect scenario that fixes all problems forever before you vote yes, then you are not being realistic in your expectations. We cannot predict the future or solve problems that are beyond our ability to solve. We can only do our best with the options currently available to us.

  13. I recently read the minutes of the last COT meeting. I am in total agreeemnt with Mr Rhinehart that we should NOT put any class in the class catalog that we do not CURRENTLY have the ability, space, or staff to teach. That in my opinion is one of the greatest hurdles that this referendum will face at the polls, the perception that certain things have been sugar coated to make them more appealing to the voters. As a voter I want the truth no matter how ugly it may be. I also understand that staff reductions are to be proposed to save money. I will pose the question once again, how are we going to realistically offer an enhanced curriculum with less staff? And how are we going to offer more options without hiring teachers qualified to teach other classes if we are not hiring specialists and keeping the same or less staff? If the exisitng faculty is qualified to teach other more desirable classes why are they not currently offered in either school? I realize that the addition of the Jamaica students to our HS will give us the benefit of economy of scale but that alone won’t fix our substandard curriculum if we are cutting staff and not hiring specialists.

    • @Mel Sanford: The plan does show cuts in full time teaching staff, but not all at the high school level. The new district will actually employ more teachers at the high school level than either district currently employs alone. There will not be fewer staff at the high school level. Lets consider the main high school subject areas as English, math, science, social studies, business, home ec., Spanish, and art. Currently, Catlin employs eleven full time staff to cover these areas and Jamaica six full time staff. The new district would employ fourteen full time staff to cover these same areas. That is an increase in teaching staff in those areas of 27% from Catlin’s current number, and obviously, even greater from Jamaica’s current number. Three teachers with certification in various subjects within those areas alone would create opportunities of which we cannot currently take advantage. The scheduling details of whom, how, and when would, of course, be the responsibility of the administration, but it does show that we will have the ability to make improvements. The final report will include a chart showing current and proposed full time equivalent (FTE) staff numbers. The course catalogue will include only courses we can offer with current staff certifications.

  14. A single Jr. High could allow more staff positions at the HS without increasing staffing costs. This could allow more sections of the same class and give students more flexibility in their schedule. Having taught at CHS I am all too aware of how our kids loose out by being forced into one class when they would be better served taking something else but they can’t because it is only offered one time a day or not at all. Curriculum erodes slowly, a cut here, a cut there, if you can, look at other high school offerings and see how restricted our offers have gotten. Consolidation is not about coming up with a dream schedule or saving millions, its about giving our kids the best competitive educational opportunities the tax payers can afford right now.

  15. Jeff Carder: I am not expecting things to be perfect prior to voting on this matter. I am a realistic person. I did see that the COT will be making recommendations for the school board to consider other school districts. What school districts would the COT be referring to? I’m not sure how this can be an option for us now or later? That is what I am questioning. As far as a tax increase, I did hear mention of property taxes and percentages of what they will be. Unfortunately, I failed to write them down, so I have no idea if this is an increase, or not. As discussed during the meeting. The state funding has not been added into the budget simply because at this point, it’s more of a wish fund. In other words, we can’t count on it, but hope that we will receive it. I’m attempting to understand this, so I can a get a factual perception of what is going to happen. I’m afraid, just as so many others. However, I can recognize the need for the consolidation. I understand the need, but I want to know what will happen to each school if the “No” vote wins. I’m trying to iron out the wrinkles to the best of my ability, not just for myself, but to help others understand as well. I’m not attacking the COT. I truly believe each of you have done an excellent job in sorting this out for the rest of us. I’m just searching for answers.

    • The issue of the COT recommending that we seek out other school districts to join us in the immediate future is interesting given the fact that it was one option that was never seriously considered. I attended a lot of meetings prior to the formation of the COT and was ostracized for my belief that whatever we do moving forward should somehow include Westville simply because of their proximity to Catlin. NOONE wanted any part of that and that is fine, but it is and always will be my belief that in the very near furure Westville will have to be a part of our long term plans. There is no need to respond about how all Westville wanted was to absorb us and take our money, (truthfully they don’t need ours they have 6 million of thier own). No need to respond about how all they wanted was our rich tax base. And no need to respond about how they were not the right socio-economic fit for us. I have heard it all before and this is not the forum for that discussion. I applaud this committee for trying to make tough descisions and not being afraid to shake the bush a little in discussing emotional issues. The job of the COT as I understand it is to make assessments and recommendations working with the resources we currently have. That is a very difficult task in itself. The area where I would caution the COT about is making these long range recommendations such as seeking out other partners. Most people are having a hard enough time wrapping their heads around the initial consolidation. Throwing out suggestions about seeking out other schools no matter how poignant that may be really muddies the water even more. I know I seem like a skeptic in my posts to this page but I am also a realist. This proposed consolidation is more than a band aid but it is not a permanant solution. The unfortunate reality is that both school districts are out of time and setting on the edge of a financial cliff ready to tumble over.

    • @Diana: The recommendation from the committee to the new board is to seek collaboration in some form with other nearby districts. At this time we do not know which districts might be involved or what form the collaboration would take. This will be the responsibility of the new board. When you mention state funding in this post, I believe you are referring to what was brought up at the meeting which was actually state incentive money for consolidation. The general state aid that I mentioned in my previous post is different from consolidation incentive money. General state aid is the money we receive from the state throughout the year which amounts to roughly half of the income the school receives. The other half is generated by local property tax. What was mentioned in the meeting in the context of “money we will apply for but do not expect to receive” is the consolidation incentive money. This is the money that we did not add into the budget because we may or may not receive it. The main purpose of these funds, if we were to receive them, would be to help make up the difference in the two teacher pay scales as we bring them together. The incentive funding would cease after four years. I know these things are difficult to keep straight and I hope my explanation helps. If the consolidation does not pass, the financial projection spreadsheet displayed at the meeting (Exhibit B of the final report) shows that with current staffing and no positive change at the state level, Catlin will have exhausted all cash reserves in 2017 and Jamaica in 2020. This is the reality we all face. Depending on what happens with state funding AND with the intention of the state to shift its portion of pension costs to the local districts, it could be even worse. Of course all of these funding variables would affect the new district in the same manner, but the savings that a consolidation would bring would still leave a reserve fund balance of close to one million dollars in the new district in 2020 based on the current projection spreadsheet. Thank you for your support and your interest in real information.

  16. Jeff Carder: Thank you for clearing this up for me. I should have been attending these meetings all along. The COT were very accommodating in explaining where you were at thus far. The meeting I attended was informative, but my mind couldn’t absorb all of it. 🙂 I greatly appreciate you for listening and addressing my concerns. It really helps me to be accurate when answering others concerns. I will continue to encourage people to attend the COT meetings. Thank you for your time!

  17. Is it possible to get a breakdown of the Combined Catlin & Jamaica Budgets differences in each fund shown in Exhibit B? I would like to know what makes up the savings or additional expense in each fund.

  18. @Terry Harby: I have added the Consolidation Plan and Exhibit A-Facilities to the website under the ‘consolidation report documents’ tab. Please see page 23 of the Consolidation Plan in reference to your questions.

  19. Hello,

    My understanding is that in order to control transportation costs there will be one bus shuttling students between the campuses each day. Could you describe how the COT envisioned a typical day with regard to the logistics of that bus for each campus and the students arrival/departure times?


    • @Carl: The bus that would shuttle students between the campuses will actually be an added transportation cost. The thought of the committee is that the same bus would be used to shuttle high school students from the Jamaica area to the high school at the north campus and to shuttle jr. high students from the Catlin area to the jr. high at the south campus. The start and end times of the school day would likely be staggered in some manner to make this possible. The exact start and end times of the high school and jr. high school day were not discussed and are yet to be determined. The new administration and board will make those determinations.

  20. As a lifelong resident of the Catlin school district, now a home owner, one of my main concerns with the consolidation is that it is a short term step for a south county high school. If this consolidation is a short term plan that will help the future of both districts, what is going to happen when there is a south county high school? Are the Catlin 6-8 students still going go to be going to Jamaica or will the Salt Fork district offer K-8 at two different locations? I understand that the argument is that the current students are not receiving a quality education, but I’m sorry if this comes off selfish but i am looking at my future children’s education and would prefer not to have them at Jamaica for Jr high when they could receive the same education in Catlin?

    • @Stevenson Harby: This topic was not discussed by the committee of ten and is far beyond the scope of this committee as it would be part of a different, and much later reorganization altogether. Therefore, I cannot answer that question on this site. Any attempt to answer this question at this point would be personal opinion and speculation. I realize this is a concern for many and I would be glad to give my opinion on a personal level outside of this website. My contact information is available by clicking on the committee member contact info tab at the top of the page. Thank you for the question.

      • Didn’t Mr. Fauver say that one of the major reasons for the consolidation was to give the new district the majority of the bonding capacity for a the next step in the districts plan, Which I understood is a south county high school?

  21. I don’t recall Mr. Fauver’s exact comments regarding bonding capacity, but from a committee standpoint, there are two driving factors behind the consolidation: financial (operational) benefit, and curriculum enhancement. These areas are where the focus of the committee has been. Bonding capacity has been seen by the committee as a secondary benefit OF consolidation, not a main reason FOR consolidation.

  22. I recently saw a discussion about a tax increase in Catlin above and beyond the change in bonding rate. Can you comment?

    • I can give it a shot. Thanks for the question. The proposed tax rate in all funds for the Catlin district if consolidation does not pass would be 5.24 which includes the bond rate of .20. The tax rate in all funds for the Catlin district if consolidation DOES pass would be just slightly more at 5.28 which includes the same bond rate of .20. For a $100,000 home in the Catlin district this would equate to an additional twelve dollars on the school portion of next year’s tax bill. The rate for the Salt Fork district will be 5.08. Each district has outstanding bonds. The bond rate for Catlin taxpayers, as I mentioned previously, is .20. This rate added to the Salt Fork rate of 5.08 = 5.28. The bond rate for Jamaica taxpayers is .10. This rate added to the Salt Fork rate of 5.08 = 5.18. I hope this answers your question.

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