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ALGONA — The Titonka Consolidated School board has voted to change the whole-grade sharing agreement with Algona for the 2013-14 school year to include students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

The Titonka district’s agreement with Algona had been only for students in grades 5-12 to attend next fall.

“We surveyed parents to get their thoughts on the matter,” said Marty Fonley, who is a shared superintendent between the two districts.

“There were so many potential unknowns on the number of students that might remain in the district next school year.”

The Titonka Consolidated School will still maintain a preschool and preschool prep program in Titonka next year.

Voters in Algona and Titonka school districts approved a reorganization of the districts earlier this year. The new alignment becomes effective in the 2014-15 school year.

The reorganization agreement remains the same, Fonley said. The move to broaden this upcoming year’s grades is an alteration to the whole-grade sharing agreement now in effect.

Teachers now employed with the Titonka Consolidated School District will retain their jobs in the next school year.

“They will become shared teachers with the Algona Community School District,” Fonley said. “We are finalizing details as to where they will be teaching in the next school year.”

Fonley said that the number of students coming to Algona from Titonka could be close to 40.

The Titonka Consolidated School will begin work to make the transition from Titonka to Algona easier on the elementary students.

In a letter sent home to parents last week, the school said visits to the elementary schools in Algona will take place over the next two months to allow students to meet new classmates.

Parents will also get a chance to tour the buildings and meet teachers. The school hopes to keep groups of Titonka students together in classrooms so they will know someone in their class.

“We’re trying to keep everyone as comfortable as possible with this transition,” Fonley said.

Nathan Countryman is assistant editor of the Algona Upper Des Moines

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