Ottumwa High School

OTTUMWA — Newly elected officials in city offices generally have a couple months to get up to speed before formally taking their seats. The Ottumwa school board moves a lot faster.

On Monday, less than two weeks after the elections voted five new board members into office, they will take their seats for the first time. The meeting is a hybrid, with the old board opening the session. After formalities like approving the agenda and paying the bills, they will certify the results from Nov. 5 and adjourn.

Within minutes the new members will be called to order, take their oaths of office, and begin the process of organizing the new board.

Voters elected David Weilbrenner, Christina Schark, Brian Jones and Morgan Brown to four-year terms. A fifth member, Jeremy Weller, was elected for a two-year term.

Neither of the major items that made up much of the campaigns — possible construction of a new elementary school and open enrollment — are on the agenda for Monday’s meeting. But another hot-button issue from earlier in the year is.

A sharing agreement with Cardinal High School for girls’ bowling is on the new board’s agenda. The prior board struggled with how to handle such agreements, which allow students from other districts to compete on Ottumwa teams.

The district has been frustrated that some families who chose to open enroll in other districts then wanted to compete in Ottumwa sports. A move to end such agreements was briefly approved, but it was repealed after concerns were raised about the effect it would have on some programs’ viability.

Having enough students to continue the girls bowling program appears to be the main rationale for the agreement up for consideration. A summary of the agenda item said the district has “low numbers this year in girls’ bowling, and it looks like that will be the case for the next few years.”

The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday at the district’s SparkTank facility, 325 E. Main St.


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