Three districts to share superintendent, resources
LYLE -— One year ago, Lyle Superintendent Jerry Reshetar had an idea about how the Lyle, Grand Meadow and Glenville-Emmons school districts could share resources and save money.
Now, Reshetar is in charge of implementing a plan that will make him superintendent in the coming school year of all three districts and allow them to share resources, such as textbooks. The three districts already have agreements under which they share staff, but they do not share administrators or resources.
"We just have to face economic facts. Our budget will be fairly thin for the next few years, even though there here's some indication that we're starting to come out of it," said Joe Brown, Grand Meadow's superintendent, who will start a new job as superintendent in Fairmont soon.
Brown thinks budget problems will cause other districts across the state to see the the plan as a model.
The agreement will also give principals more responsibility. Reshetar said the principals will take on the roles of being the main leadership figures within their respective districts, since the superintendent will become the main resource manager for the group.
Reshetar expects the shift will save a significant amount of money for all three districts.
The plan will draw more on technology, since Reshetar will be using a laptop computer and a Smart Phone to keep things organized and will hold meetings using interactive television.
In the beginning, the schools decided to implement the consortium over the next year, but the resignations of Brown and Glenville-Emmons Superintendent Mark Roubinek, who will move to St. Charles, hastened the agreement. Reshetar proposed the idea to a group of school board members a year ago and the districts that stayed in the group asked him to take on the role of superintendent.
He will only stay in the position for three years. He said he will mentor his successor before retiring. He became Lyle's superintendent in 1999.
According to Greg Abbott, of the Minnesota School Board Association, three-quarters of the school districts in the state have some type of resource-sharing agreement, but the extent to which districts are sharing varies greatly, district by district.
LeRoy-Ostrander and Southland already have an agreement under which they share resources and are no longer part of the accord that the other districts reached earlier this month.
"It is money," Abbott said. "Smaller areas might also be losing enrollment. You have to do something. You can only cut so much."