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Wakefield-Marensico School Board discusses consolidation

 

Miranda Anderson/Daily Globe

The Wakefield-Marenisco School Board discusses the consolidation proposal at its meeting Monday. Pictured are, from bottom left (clockwise), member Dan Obradovich, vice president Micki Sorenson, secretary Margaret Lynott, president Brad Dalbac, superintendent Cathy Shamion, treasurer Marsha Vestich and member Brandon Yuchasz.

WAKEFIELD - The Wakefield-Marenisco School Board discussed the proposed consolidation of the Bessemer and Wakefield-Marenisco school districts at its meeting Monday.

A group of citizens has proposed a consolidation and is collecting signatures to put the issue on a ballot. Superintendent Cathy Shamion said the group has until mid-January to collect enough signatures for the vote to occur in May 2014.

If approved, consolidation will occur in July 2014, giving both schools about six weeks in the interim to organize the action.

Board member Dan Obradovich said consolidation could threaten student enrollment, suggesting students may transfer to Ironwood. Member Brandon Yuchasz said consolidation is "a terrifying idea," as Bessemer needs numerous school renovations.

"It's not in our hands at this moment, it's out there collecting signatures," Shamion said.

As part of the superintendent's report, Shamion said the legislature was proposing mandatory retention for third graders who don't pass reading tests. "We need to motivate parents to realize this is unacceptable," she said.

Shamion also presented a progress report for students in grades 7-12.

She said the annual retiree Christmas potluck will be Wednesday, Dec. 18, from 10:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the home economics room.

Athletic Director Mark Lane said Wakefield will be hosting the girls basketball district tournament in February. The boys tournament will be at Ewen-Trout Creek.

Yuchasz said the November lice outbreak was handled.

He also said the student council will be excused for Christmas break at noon on Dec. 19 and a student Christmas party will be held Friday, Dec. 20, for grades 7-12. Activities will include basketball and a movie. The kitchen will provide refreshments.

The board held a closed session to discuss a grievance. No action was taken.

The next meeting will be held Jan. 20. This will be an organizational meeting, where the election of officers and committee assignments will be made.