Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Growth in Shrinking Times

The North Iowa Conference (NIC) has lately been a leader in foward thinking.  With schools shrinking and merging, the NIC leaders have had the forethought to expand the conference or at least facilitate that growth.  In an approach of transparency and collaboration, the NIC has made affiliation available to schools that will benefit from a change of membership.  The schools of Belmond-Klemme, Garner-Hayfield-Ventura, Forest City, Lake Mills, Mason City Newman, North Iowa, Osage, and West Hancock have opened the doors successfully to North Union and Algona Bishop Garrigan.  Both schools have actively joined in the partnership which is the North Iowa Conference.  Additionally other schools have had similar conversations, including the entire Cornbowl Conference.  Collectively the Cornbowl Conference notified the NIC that complete merging of the conferences is not the current direction, but that future conversations are likely.  Although every school that has been involved in these conversations (upward of 20 directly) has an independent perception of what is best for their particular school, the conversation itself has created other conversations that have spun forward and created an impetus for change in thinking.  In the end it is all about serving students, so if the conversation creates that possibility, it is a victory for anyone that has taken the time to sit down and talk. 

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