South Central Calhoun system approved

ROCKWELL CITY – Two school districts in Calhoun County will become one after a reorganization vote passed by a wide margin Tuesday.

Voters approved the merger of the Southern Cal and Rockwell City-Lytton school districts by a margin of 593 to 153, according to unofficial election results posted by the Calhoun County auditors office.

In the Rockwell City-Lytton district, voters approved the merger by a 253 to 67 vote, the Auditor’s Office reported.

Southern Cal Community School District voters approved the merger by a 340 to 86 margin, according to the auditor’s office. That district includes Lake City, Lohrville and rural areas of southern Calhoun County.

The new district will be known as South Central Calhoun.

The two schools have been sharing grades for the past several years, and issues of timing and available money meant now was the time to put the issue to voters, according to Southern Cal Superintendent Jeff Kruse.

“In the end, we feel it’s the right thing for our students and communities to become unified in one district,” Kruse said Friday afternoon.

Kruse said the reorganization will allow the schools to operate as one district, which would be beneficial in multiple ways.

“There’s unity in the planning core with goals and long-range planning,” he said. “We can also get one contract for our teaching staff instead of two, like we’re under currently. It will also allow simplification of many reports that are done multiple times now.”

With the measure approved, planning for the reorganization will begin immediately.

“During the next year there would be work with bringing up contracts for the teachers,” he said. “We’d also have to figure out how to make a central business location between the districts.”

Other plans to work out would include combining the policies of the two districts.

“In the end, separate boards would have to give up their assets and their properties to the new district,” Kruse said. “There’s also a legal process that takes place. Eventually the boards will give more and more authority over to the combined school.”