The Creighton school district is trying to look toward the future and is asking for community input on direction on how to proceed, both figuratively and literally.
The Creighton Community Public School held an open school board meeting on Wednesday to discuss rules and regulations in regard to extracurricular activities. This included potential survey questions asking for direction in partnering with area schools, including Neligh-Oakdale, Niobrara, Plainview, Osmond, Verdigre and other districts.
This was the first of a series of informational meetings to the public. No action was taken at this meeting. About two dozen people attended Wednesday's meeting.
Dr. Jim Tenopir, interim executive director of the NSAA, presented on rules and regulations as they relate to consolidation, unification and cooperatives.
"Part of what we are going to do tonight is give you a fundamental sketch of what legally can occur in regard to marriages, if you will, between school districts," Tenopir said.
In October, the school board organized a community outreach committee to put together a survey of patron interests for the future of the Creighton school.
Among the sample questions discussed were - listing and ranking schools to consider for consolidation, unification and cooperatives; which activities to possibly include from high school and junior high to NSAA and non-NSAA sanction activities; and personnel combinations with other districts.
As of now, this preliminary survey is a tool to figure out what information the community needs to be able to plan for the future. Stakeholders were told that the open meetings will be held to educate the stakeholders as well as the school board on different options. The community's input will be assessed in an approved survey later down the road, officials said.
Tenopir stated that reorganization is a challenge.
"School reorganization is one of the most difficult tasks for boards of education and, for that matter, the community," Tenopir said.
Creighton Athletic Director Randy Kliment also shared enrollment projections for the school over the next five years. According to his projections, Creighton, Plainview, Neligh-Oakdale, Clearwater-Orchard, Verdigre and Osmond will see declines. He said Bloomfield and Niobrara will have a slight increase.
The next community meetings will be January 13 at 7:30 p.m. and February 17 at 7:30 p.m. Full meetings can be viewed on the Creighton Community Public School webpage.