Like most schools in Iowa, North Tama is facing a steady decline in enrollment over the past several years and is projected to decline in the future. This has created significant budget pressures for our district. The district cost per child is currently $6,001 per year. Losing 17 children this year will reduce our district's revenue by $102,017 next year. Our fixed costs, such as transportation, salary and benefits, technology and facilities, and maintenance continue to rise, despite our best efforts to economize.
Now is not the time to panic, but an opportunity to "think outside the box." Today, there are approximately 93 Iowa schools that have a smaller school enrollment than we do. The smallest viable school in Iowa is Whiting, having a K-12 enrollment of 168 students. Whiting recently has been recognized as "A Blue Ribbon School" for academic achievement which shows bigger doesn't mean better. North Tama's enrollment is and will be high enough to keep us a viable school district under one roof for years to come.
Thinking outside the box is needed to help us continue to provide our students with a quality K-12 educational program at North Tama CCSD. One project currently underway is a school calendar committee made up of administrators, teachers, school board members, and parents who are working on revising the 2014 -2015 school calendar. This innovative calendar has the potential to provide more instructional advantages for our students and save the district some money. Second, we are in the process of organizing a North Tam Academic Booster Club. The main purpose of this organization will be to support and enhance our academic programs. Even before we begin to meet there have been two wonderful financial donations. We would like to thank North Tama graduates Bob and Dorothy Madera for their donation of $500 and thank a group of anonymous donors for their contribution of $5000. If you are interested in becoming a member of the North Tama Academic Booster Club please contact me, Bob Cue at 319-478-2265.
With a spirit of creative thinking and cooperation, we will be able to not only continue providing quality education but also implement innovative changes in the North Tama School District.