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FDCSD board rejects bowling co-op, accepts two others

Swimming, diving, soccer to be shared with Prairie Valley

April 3, 2012
By BRANDON L. SUMMERS, Messenger staff writer , Messenger News

The Fort Dodge Community School District board rejected a cooperative sharing agreement request for Senior High bowling from Prairie Valley Community Schools.

Prairie Valley submitted a cooperative sharing agreement request to join the Senior High's swimming and diving team, its soccer team, and its bowling team for the 2012-2013 school year. The first two were approved on March 26, but the third was rejected.

According to Doug Van Zyl, FDCSD superintendent, this is because the FDSH bowling team was full already.

"Basically, what we're looking at from this year, we had quite a number of our own students that were out and actually had to cut students from that program, because we had such a large number out," he said. "Based on that, and seeing that program is doing quite well, it's awfully difficult to allow other students to come in."

While bowling was rejected for cooperative sharing, the board approved swimming and soccer.

"With swimming, we don't have quite as many numbers and a large space with a swimming pool, as opposed to a bowling alley, which is limited," Van Zyl said.

Van Zyl said he approves of cooperative sharing agreements.

"We see the benefits to the students and some of our programs by having some of those things in place," he said.

In February, the school board approved a cooperative sharing agreement with Manson Northwest Webster for FDSH's soccer program.

Tom Kinseth, activities and athletics director, said such sharing agreements are beneficial for smaller schools.

"Some of the smaller schools financially can't afford a program, so they're looking to share athletic programs," he said. "One school district doesn't have to bear the cost of providing that activity, so you're seeing a lot of co-op agreements right now with some of these smaller schools that are in financial trouble."

Stuart Cochrane, FDCSD board president, said the board doesn't necessarily approve all requested agreements.

"We always want to benefit kids when we can," he said. "We haven't always approved cooperative agreements in the past when the numbers in the program have looked like we have so many kids in the program. It is something we evaluate on a case-by-case basis, depending on the program involved."

Contact Brandon L. Summers at (515) 573-2141 or



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