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Deanna Schmidt-Davis

February 1, 2015
Reinbeck Courier

Dear Editor,


Many years ago when the Gladbrook and Reinbeck schools decided to consolidate it was an emotional issue. Many folks from Gladbrook did not want it to happen. I guess most of the people that opposed it in Gladbrook feared losing our school altogether. When the high school moved to Reinbeck they were afraid that one day everything would be gone. This was so much of an emotional issue that it affected friendships, family relationships and business. There was one business in town that even went out of business because of the controversy.

At that time I didn't understand why people were thinking like this. I felt that we didn't have anything to worry about. I thought that Gladbrook and Reinbeck both had level headed people that were determined to work together. So, now I ask myself, was I wrong? I don't think so. It's really a matter of compromise. If the Gladbrook - Reinbeck School Board members only look at the dollar figures then they will vote to shut down the Gladbrook School. If they look at the dollar figures and decide to compromise because of the relationship/partnership that we have formed, then they will vote to keep one building in Gladbrook and one building in Reinbeck open.

When our current School Board members were elected the people that elected them trusted that they would keep an open mind and continue to work together. Years ago Gladbrook and Reinbeck decided to form a relationship/partnership. In the recent turn of events it appears that the relationship/partnership may now be in jeopardy.

I attended a meeting last week where many Gladbrook and Reinbeck citizens gave their opinions. One gentleman from Reinbeck urged the board to keep the G and the R together and keep a school building open in each community.

One lady from Reinbeck said that it's the school building in Gladbrook that is being shut down, not the town. In response to that, if this happened it would greatly affect the Gladbrook community. Without a school, Gladbrook would not attract new families and would not see new growth. If this happened it would affect the property values of our homes and our businesses.

There are four options being considered by the board. Each of the four options for the Gladbrook-Reinbeck School would save the district money each year and those four options are listed below. I am listing them for those of you that have not yet attended these meetings.

If the School Board votes to close the Gladbrook campus the projected savings per year is, $402,025.28. The unknown factor then is that we don't know how many Gladbrook families would decide to open enroll to other neighboring districts at the loss of $6,400 per student per year.

There are THREE other scenarios that would keep a school in Gladbrook and in Reinbeck. They are:

K - 6th grade in Gladbrook, 7 - 12 in Reinbeck for a projected savings of $296,880.42 per year

K - 8 in Gladbrook and 9 - 12 in Reinbeck for a projected savings of $248,320.42 per year

K - 2 in Reinbeck, K - 2 in Gladbrook, 3 - 8 in Gladbrook, and 9 - 12 in Reinbeck for a projected savings of $270,880.14 per year

If you haven't attended a meeting about the future of the Gladbrook-Reinbeck School, I encourage you to do so! Mark your calendars for the following dates:

Thursday, January 29th: Regular School Board meeting 6:30 PM Reinbeck

Wednesday, February 4th: School Board work session 6:30 PM Gladbrook

The board will take recommendations from facilitators.

Thursday, February 19th: School Board business meeting 6:30 PM Gladbrook

NOTE: A building closure will be an action item on this agenda.

I urge our School Board to vote for one of the options that will keep both the Gladbrook campus and the Reinbeck campus open. Now is the time for Gladbrook and Reinbeck together, to start visiting with other schools in the area that are also having financial troubles to see if a G-R partnership with one of them, one day may be possible. I urge the School Board to do the right thing for both communities when voting on this issue on February 19th! Please keep the G and the R together! We are G-R!

Deanna Schmidt-Davis

Gladbrook Alumni President Elect



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