School Board, superintendent talk fiduciary responsibility, staffing, campus realignment

Cottonwood-Oak Creek Superintendent Steve King presents information connected to the district’s plan to realign three schools into K-8 schools. (Photo by Bill Helm)

Cottonwood-Oak Creek Superintendent Steve King presents information connected to the district’s plan to realign three schools into K-8 schools. (Photo by Bill Helm)

Since the Cottonwood-Oak Creek School Board agreed in February to approve Steve King’s plan for realigning three of its schools into two K-8 schools, both the board and the superintendent are still trying to decide on a restructuring plan that is best.

At 6 p.m. Thursday, the C-OC school board will meet with Superintendent King in a study session where the principals can exchange ideas on district restructuring proposals.

Following the study session, the board will convene for a special session for possible action on the proposed district restructuring plans that are presented during the work session, said JoAnne Cook, C-OC board president.

Cook also said that there “may or may not be further study sessions requested, or the board may choose to have the item brought back to a future meeting for action.”

Board members have been clear with Superintendent King about a need for fiduciary responsibility as the district prepares to go from five schools to four.

Under King’s plan, three of the district’s schools – Dr. Daniel Bright (K-2), Cottonwood Elementary (grades 3-5) and Cottonwood Middle (grades 6-8) – will be realigned into two K-8 schools. The plan is to create “family-friendly schools,” King said. And having K-8 schools would allow children to attend the same school for their first nine years.

“There are issues affecting children at school that have nothing to do with school,” King said.

As King has selected DDB and CMS to be the campuses of the two K-8 schools, Cottonwood Elementary School would be closed, with the exception of one building on the CES campus, which would become an early childhood learning center.

To C-OC board member Jason Finger, a main component of the district’s restructuring is fiduciary in nature.

“We are still faced with that problem today – money,” C-OC board member Jason Finger said at the board’s March 6 meeting. “I’m looking for detailed itemization to run those campuses. This doesn’t come along very often, a closed campus. We have a fiscal responsibility to this community.”

Finger also emphasized that he wants the district’s educators to “see an increase in salary.”

“That’s why I’m trying to do the prudent thing,” Finger said.

At 6 p.m. Thursday, March 22, the Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District’s governing board will meet at the District Office, located at 1 N. Willard St. in Cottonwood.

A copy of the agenda will be made available no later than 24 hours prior to the meeting. The agenda can be found here.

Call 928-634-2288 for more information.

-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42

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