Colby and Abbotsford school districts discussing consolidation after advisory referendum

Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 10:28 PM CDT
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COLBY, Wis. (WSAW) - The Colby and Abbotsford School districts are discussing the opportunity to become one after people voted “yes” to the advisory referendum on Monday night.

Abbotsford and Colby school district residents voted in favor of discussing consolidation.
Abbotsford and Colby school district residents voted in favor of discussing consolidation.(wsaw)

“The advisory question basically asked are you interested in the superintendents and the two school districts investigating what it would take,” Abbotsford Superintendent Cheryl Baker said.

The neighboring school districts have heard discussions about consolidation before. The idea of joining forces is not a new one.

“Every year I get two to three questions when are the school districts going to consolidate,” Colby School District Superintendent Steven Kolden said.

“You are talking about two very distinct districts which are close, but have a lot of history,” Baker said.

Items like history, school finances, athletics, education programs, and others will need to be taken into account to see if coming together would be the best choice for the school districts.

“What it’ll take is a coming together of the minds for both districts, that starts at the superintendent level,” Baker said.

“At some point our boards, both Abbotsford and Colby will need to put together a joint task force, a study team, then that group will become a steering committee,” Kolden said.

Another referendum question is a long way off, and may never happen. But the districts want to make sure they can answer all the questions about any changes before they happen.

“We want to make sure that the community has all of the questions they want answered when it comes time to vote,” Kolden said.

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