I don’t usually pay much attention to the rumor mill, but I do listen long enough to hear what some of our most creative neighbors are spreading from time to time. Of course, the word “spreading” reminds me of the spreader we use on the farm to disseminate manure. Some of these rumors fit into this category. It is important to make certain everyone has access to accurate information to help us remain unified as a community.
The Creston Community and Orient-Macksburg School Districts have shared a very beneficial relationship for more than 30 years. Speaking for the Creston Community School District, I can say there is no intention of ending this relationship. The rumor about this relationship changing is simply unfounded and untrue. We here at CCSD have appreciated our partnership with O-M associated with high school academic classes and with student activities and athletics. Several O-M students currently travel to Creston each day for certain high school classes and the O-M district pays for these offerings according to an agreed upon formula. These same students attend other classes back home at O-M High School or over at Southwestern Community College. We have also shared certain athletic programs for many, many years. When walking down the hallway or watching practices or contests, you can’t tell if a student is a Creston kid or an O-M kid. For that matter, you also can’t tell if they’re from Prescott, Cromwell, Kent, Nevinville, Williamson, Hebron, Zion, Richland, etc.
Some of the rumors may have started with the Iowa High School Athletic Association’s recent adjustments to classes and districts in football. These are made every two years. The enrollment counts of each school’s ninth through 11th graders determine each school’s class. The combined enrollments of Creston Community and O-M’s 9th through 11th graders place us in Class 3A for football for the next two seasons. We are one of the very smallest in this class. We were contacted at one point by a representative from the IHSAA with the possibility of moving down a class, depending on the enrollments of a few other Iowa schools. In the end, that did not transpire. On the other end of the spectrum, a few of the smallest 4A schools did move down into Class 3A. The bottom line is, the class and district assignments are out of our control. We get our football schedule dictated to us and our team prepares and competes accordingly. On a side note, over the years, I have heard both Coach Dick Bergstrom and more recently Coach Brian Morrison state that the Creston O-M football team doesn’t have many participants from Orient and Macksburg, but the ones involved have always been high quality young people.
When it comes right down to it, the future of the Orient-Macksburg School District will continue to be in the hands of the Orient-Macksburg Board of Education and the community that board represents. Student enrollment, school finances, state and federal requirements and many more factors will always impact every district’s board decisions. The Creston Community Board of Education remains open to continued, mutually beneficial collaboration with Orient-Macksburg. So many area students have benefited from this partnership between districts. We will continue to be in this together to educate our local youngsters. If we remain focused on our local kids and their learning, we can’t go wrong!