Board Ponders Consolidating Manville and Lusk High Schools
At the regular March meeting the Board of Education, serious consideration was given to the possibility of consolidating the Manville and Lusk high schools into one Niobrara County High School at the opening of the term next fall, rather than the year after when the new building is completed, even though it would result in very crowded conditions for the one year.
The board's reason for consideration of this step at the present time is that Mr. and Mrs, Merrill Hatcher have informed the Board that they are not returning. This leaves vacancies in the positions of principal, and English instructor-librarian. The Board feels that since the combining of the two high schools will undoubtedly take place when the new building is completed next year, it may be more feasible to do so this coming fall and some the more than $20,000 expected annually for instructors of the Manville High School.
Another possibility that was considered, was continuing the 10th, 11th and 12th grades at Manville, and allowing all 9th grade students to commence their high school studies in the Lusk school. This would enable them to plan their course of studies in line with the curriculum being offered in the school where they will complete their high school work. It is believed that this method would enable a reduction of the teaching staff needed at Manville next year, and prevent excessive over-crowding of the Lusk school.
A definite decision on the matter was postponed until the Board is able to ascertain the wishes and recommendations of administrators and patrons of the schools concerned, a special meeting of the Board of Education has been scheduled for Mar. 26, and further consideration may be given the problem at that time.
The Board discussed a simple ground-breaking ceremony when construction is commenced on the Niobrara County High School building the later part of this month, and a committee of Roy Johnson, Gordon Kaan and L.E. Johnsonbaugh was appointed to give further study to the matter. It was also decided to call for bids for the two shop buildings at the site of the present high school building. A call for bids may be found elsewhere in this issue.
Spiegelberg Lumber and Building Co. of Laramie started this week to move in equipment.
TO CLOSE BUENA VISTA
The Board decided that the Buena School shall be closed at the end of the present term in view of the fact that enrollment has dropped to three pupils, and there is another rural school only a few miles distant with a good surfaced road between the two. Also very practical school bus connections may be made to either the Lusk or Lance Creek schools.
It was further decided that the Fairview school shall become a two-teacher school because of the present large enrollment. all eight grades are being taught and any additional enrollment from the Buena Vista School would make an excessive load for one teacher.
Because there will be no high school at Node next year, and a reduced enrollment, it was also decided that it would be more feasible to maintain it as a one-teacher school rather than with two teachers as it is now.
In view of the increased cost of maintaining schools, the Board decided to increase tuition rates $50.00 a year for both grade and high school students, effective Sept. 1, 1953. the new rates established for this year are $200 for grade student s, and $300 per year for high school students whose homes are not in Niobrara County.
C.V. Lee, James Patten and Roy Johnson were appointed as a budget committee to begin work on the annual budget for the 1953-54 school year. The meeting adjourned at a late hour.