Decreasing enrollments and the educational funding system in the state of South Dakota has necessitated that the Irene and Wakonda School Districts combine in order to provide a quality education program for their students. The two school districts combined their football programs in 2003, junior high school basketball programs in 2004, and all other athletic programs and cheerleading in 2005-06. All of these activities have had participants from both schools.
The two school districts have been sharing their schools' administrators, superintendent, secondary principal and elementary principal since 2002-03. Other faculty members and programs have also been shared. These include industrial arts, family and consumer sciences, guidance and counseling, Spanish, and art.
The two school districts already have a good working relationship and want the two communities to progress and prosper. To accomplish this goal, the districts must provide an excellent education program for their children. The districts feel this can only be done by providing an educational system that benefits both communities by having a facility in each community.
Budget comparison data
(See chart below)
Wakonda School District 13-2 Assessed Valuations
Irene School District 63-2 Assessed Valuations
Clay Co. Turner Co. Yankton Co. Total
Ag 2,763,138 5,338,125 58,563,360 66,664,623
NA-Z 15,369 � 152,402 167,771
OO 2,139,222 3,381,755 8,749,898 14,270,875
Other 1,169,845 751,940 2,358,466 4,289,251
Utilities � � 68,596 68,596
Total 6,087,574 9,471,820 69,892,722 85,452,116
New Irene/Wakonda School District Assessed Valuations
Clay Co. Turner Co. Yankton Co. Total
Ag 73,809,926 5,338,125 58,563,360 137,711,411
NA-Z 1,016,580 � 152,402 1,168,982
OO 16,502,421 3,381,755 8,749,898 28,634,074
Other 5,035,772 751,940 2,358,466 8,146,178
Utilities 7,450,751 � 68,596 7,519,347
Total 103,815,450 9,471,820 69,892,722 183,179,992
Budget Irene Wakonda Total Reorg. Difference
Fund Budget Budget Budget Budget in Budgets
General 1,480,432 1,312,082 2,792,514 2,395,896 396,618
C.O. 656,250 280,100 936,350 904,200 32,150
SPED 207,857 176,800 383,657 319,562 64,095
Pension 37,099 27,500 64,599 54,900 9,699
Food Serv 89,395 73,750 163,145 163,145 �
Budget savings mostly will be in the General Fund only, as building needs will be financed out of the Capital Outlay Fund for several years, after which there will be savings in that fund also. The Pension Fund will continue to be used to pay for the SDRS and retirement policies and should maintain its present level. The Food Service Fund should remain the same because of the use of two facilities.
The Irene School District has a bonded indebtedness of $195,270, which will be paid off in 2008, and which was used to build an eight-room addition in 1993. The Wakonda School District has indebtedness from using Capital Outlay certificates of $975,000, which will be paid off in 2021. This was used to build a K-4 addition in 2003.
Tax and valuation data
For Assessed Valuations of Taxable Property for taxes paid in 2006, see accompanying charts.
Each school district at present has an opt-out. The Wakonda School District 13-2 has a perpetual opt-out of $150,000 a year since Jan. 1, 1999. The Irene School District 63-2 has a five-year opt-out of $100,000 a year which became effective on Jan. 1, 2005. This proposed plan establishes a $150,000 opt-out for five years to help in the transitional cost of consolidating the two districts into one district.
School buildings in each community will be used to house the students. The 7-12 grades will be housed at the Irene facility. This facility in Irene to be used includes additions built in 1974, 1993, and 2003, with an attached gymnasium built in 1956. Besides regular classrooms, these rooms will include a science laboratory, family and consumer sciences room, and a school/community library built in the 2003 addition. Also, remote sites will contain an industrial arts building, pre-school program, and weight room. A 1922-built building will be razed and not be used to house students or programs.
The K-6 grades will be housed at the Wakonda facility. A 2004 K-4 addition will be the cornerstone to the elementary school with an attached gymnasium, which was built in 1974. This 2004 addition also includes a school/community library. The 1918 building will be used for grades 5-6 and other specialty programs until a new addition can be added to complete the elementary complex. This addition will include needed classrooms and a lunch room, and is projected to be completed within two years. This addition will be paid for by using capital outlay funds. This addition will include a pre-school room so each community will have access to this program.
Each facility has a new school/community library attached to the school complexes, and the plan is to continue these operations. The gymnasium facilities in each community will continue to be used for athletic practices and athletic events. These events will be scheduled on an equal basis in each community.
The new district will maintain an administrative staff with a superintendent, a business manager for the district, a secondary principal at the Irene site, and an elementary principal for the Wakonda site.
Teacher staffing will include one teacher per grade in the elementary unless classes become too large, 28 in grades K-3 and 31 in grades 4-6. In the elementary school there will be two special education teachers, 1.5 Title I teachers, music, computer, physical education teachers, and teacher aides as necessary. The new school board will determine the 7-12 staffing needs based upon state graduation and accreditation requirements and on state course standards.
The staffing for maintenance/custodial and cooks will remain basically the same. The district plans to continue to use six full-time bus drivers because of the geography of the new districts. There will be a need to shuttle some students between the two communities in the a.m. and p.m.
Bus route information
There are presently three bus routes in each school district. In order to maintain the policy of maximum travel time of one hour, the six bus routes will be continued. All rural K-12 students will be offered bus service. Three buses will be used to transport students between the two facilities. Breakfasts are served at each facility once the buses have arrived.
Official name, mascot, and colors
The official name for the new school district will be the Irene/Wakonda School District with the Irene/Wakonda Elementary School in Wakonda and the Irene/Wakonda Junior-Senior High School in Irene. The mascot name will be the Irene/Wakonda Eagles, and the school colors will be royal blue and white with black.
The new school district will have a five-member school board to be elected from five different districts. The districts will be numbered districts 1, ,2, 3, 4, and 5. This was done to ensure that each old school district would have school board representation. The population of each board member district is based upon the 2000 federal census. District 1, with a population of 451 people, and district 2, with 448 people, are complete within the boundaries of the old Wakonda School District.
Districts 4 and 5, each with a population of 449 people, are within the boundaries of the old Irene School District. District 3, which has 449 people, has parts of each old school district. The new board will have staggered terms as follows: Districts 1 and 5 will have a three-year term, Districts 2 and 4 will have a two-year term, and District 3 will have a one-year term. After this first year election, all members will run for three-year terms. All registered voters within the whole Irene/Wakonda School District will vote for each board member, but the candidates must live in the district that they represent.
Clay, Turner, and Yankton Counties will house the Irene/Wakonda School District. The county of jurisdiction will conduct the election of the new school board. The county of jurisdiction, as determined by the Secretary of Education, will be Clay. The election will be set so that the new board members could assume office in January 2007.
The present elementary curriculum for both school districts consists of all areas mandated by the state of South Dakota and recommended and approved by each school district. This includes computers and a pre-school program in each school district. Much of the curriculum materials used by the two school districts has been synchronized because of the sharing of staff in the past and prior planning for reorganization.
The proposed curriculum for the Irene/Wakonda elementary school will consist of all areas mandated by the state of South Dakota and recommended and approved by the board of education. This will include English/Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Art, Music, Health, Physical Education, Computer Education, and any other mandated curriculum. Title I, Special Education, and Guidance Services will be continued.
The new school district will continue to use the Southeast Learning Interactive Distance Learning System and the state DDN network when possible and needed. The secondary curriculum will require a minimum of 22 credits to graduation as based upon the requirements set by the State Board of Education. The new district will use an eight-period day for grades 7-12 with school starting at 8:15 a.m. and dismissing at 3:21 p.m.
The proposed secondary (7-12) curriculum will consist of the following:
Seventh Grade ��English/Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, Mathematics, Physical Education/Health, Computer Keyboarding, Consumer and Family Sciences, Industrial Arts, and Chorus and Band.
Eighth Grade ��English/Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, Mathematics to include Algebra I, Physical Education/Heath, Family and Consumer Sciences, Industrial Arts, Chorus/Band, and Drivers Education.
English � World Literature, American Literature, English Literature, Composition/Language Arts I, II, III, IV, Speech, Journalism, Creative Writing, and Drama.
Science � Physical Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Anatomy.
Social Studies � World History, World Geography, American History, American Government, Sociology, Psychology, Economics.
Mathematics ��Algebra I, II, Geometry, Pre-Calculus, Calculus, Trigonometry, Applied Mathematics I, II.
Fine Arts ��Chorus, Band, Art I, II, III, IV, Drama/Theatre.
Computer Sciences � Computers I, II, III, IV.
Foreign Language ��Spanish I, II, III.
Family and Consumer Sciences � FACS I, II, III, IV.
Industrial Arts ��Industrial Arts I, II, III, IV.
Business Education ��General Business, Business Law, Accounting I, II, Personal Finance.
Physical Education/ Health.
Distance Learning Courses (SLIDL & DDN) � College Freshman English I, II, College Freshman Mathematics I, II, Street Law, Agriculture Management, Various AP Courses.
Special Education Services.
Guidance and Counseling Services.
Athletic Programs ��Boys and Girls Basketball, Girls Volleyball, Football, Boys and Girls Cross County, Boys and Girls Track, Boys and Girls Golf.
Other Activities ��Yearbook, School Play, One Act Play, Oral Interpretation, FCCLA.
All existing property of both the Irene and Wakonda School Districts will be included in the newly proposed Irene/Wakonda School District. Minor boundary changes can be applied for and will be reviewed at the school board meetings.
Minor boundary changes can be applied for and will be reviewed by the new Irene/Wakonda School Board.
Adjustment of assets and liabilities
The assets and liabilities of the proposed Irene/Wakonda School District will be the combined assets and liabilities of the old Irene and Wakonda school districts.
The Land area in square miles is as follows:
There must be a majority vote of approval in each school district for the reorganization to go into effect on July 1, 2007. If anyone has questions about the plan, they should come to one of the two public meetings to be held on Thursday, June 15 at 7 p.m. in the Irene school gym or on Tuesday, June 20 at 7 p.m. in the Wakonda school gym. A person can also call the school offices at 263-3311 in Irene or 267-2644 in Wakonda.