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At their October meetings, both the Mount Ayr and Diagonal school boards unanimously renewed the academic sharing agreement for another three years.
In place in one form or another since 1992, the sharing agreement allows Diagonal students in grades 9-12 to attend academic and vocational classes in Mount Ayr each morning.
In exchange, the Diagonal district will pay Mount Ayr the equivalent of Mount Ayr’s regular program cost divided by eight periods in a day for each class period Diagonal students attend.
For the 2019-2020 school year, based upon a regular program cost of $6,736, that amount is $842 per period.
Each spring Diagonal students may request certain classes, and the Mount Ayr administration attempts to schedule those classes during times Diagonal students are in attendance. Due to time constraints, however, not all requests can be fulfilled.
Curriculum for shared classes is the responsibility of the Mount Ayr district, while transportation to and from Mount Ayr will be the responsibility of Diagonal.
While in attendance in Mount Ayr, Diagonal students are under the jurisdiction of the Mount Ayr administration and are subject to the same academic, disciplinary and other requirements as Mount Ayr students.
At the end of each quarter, Mount Ayr forwards official copies of student transcripts and academic records to Diagonal for inclusion in their permanent record.
The agreement pertains only to academic classes, although the districts share football and baseball. Those activities fall under separate agreements.
Mount Ayr superintendent Joe Drake sees a mutual advantage for both districts.
“The Diagonal/Mount Ayr sharing agreement has been a very positive thing for the Mount Ayr Community School,” he said. “The Diagonal students that take classes in Mount Ayr are great kids that add much to our learning environment. This agreement is a win/win for all involved. “
The recently renewed academic agreement will remain in effect for the 2019-2020, 2020-2021, and 2021-2022 school years, after which time it will come under review for another potential three-year renewal.