Hamilton USD 390 is here to stay.
That’s the message the board of education gave Wednesday evening after a unanimous 7-0 decision to “indefinitely” keep the district open.
Over the past few years, the board has made a practice of evaluating the district’s enrollment and financial situation in October in order to make the determination about keeping the school open additional years.
“With all parties involved — teachers, students, parents — there was just a question mark above our school district,” said Superintendent Mike Ronen. “Last night our board of education removed that question mark and I think that’s a really positive step. I feel comfortable that we can prove that that they were right.”
Ronen said Hamilton saw a staggering 18% increase in enrollment this year. Adding to the excitement is the fact that its largest class is currently its youngest, with nine students enrolled in the pre-K program.
“It was not a lengthy conversation at all,” said Superintendent Mike Ronen. “It was a 7-0 unanimous vote, to say, ‘Yeah, we’re in this game. We’ve got some good things going on here.’”
Some of that includes a changing culture within the district that Ronen says has lead to a more positive atmosphere overall. They are also working hard to develop academic programs that might attract people to the district.
Ronen said other programs Hamilton will actively maintain, such as its ag education program, which is popular with older students. And with the stability of the district now certain, it’s an exciting time to work on those developments.
“We’re going to have some programs for a small district that might interest people into coming here,” he said. The district is also looking at increasing its curriculum offerings, which can be a challenge for a district Hamilton’s size.”
Ronen said he wasn’t able to give details just yet on what those curriculum offerings might look like, but said everything was “very encouraging.”
“I think we’ve got some plans in the making that are going to make this a very viable school district for the near future and extended on as long as you want to look,” he said.