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Open enrollment of North Winneshiek students to Mabel-Canton was an issue at joint Decorah and North Winneshiek Board meeting (but not on the agenda)

Posted: Mon, Jun 5, 2017 10:17 PM

The Decorah Community School Board and North Winneshiek School Boards met Monday night to discuss the next steps in a potential reorganization for the schools. But about 30 people from the North Winneshiek district showed up, seemingly with the hope of discussing the issues of students open enrolling in Mabel-Canton schools. That topic, however, was not on the agenda for discussion.

Officials from both schools and legal representation did take time to clarify the issue. Discussion or positions related to that open enrollment question cannot be included in the potential petition for reorganization, but only could be addressed by the newly constituted board that would result from that election. Some attendees of the meeting seemed skeptical that such open enrollment would happen with a majority of new board members from the Decorah district. Decorah officials expressed general support for open enrollment of "grandfathered" families and that they always have attempted to do what is best for both individual students and the district. But they also noted that even though a future board might be supportive of some open enrollment situations, recent actions by the Iowa Department of Education leave many questions about what might be allowed in out-of-state situations.

Attendees were directed to make comments to their respective districts at their next board meeting open forum times.