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It’s official: Morris Area and Cyrus will be one district

MORRIS – The Morris Area and Cyrus school districts will officially consolidate this summer.

On Monday, both school boards gave final approval to a consolidation plan that will bring the districts together beginning on July 1, 2013. The new district will remain the Morris Area School District, but will get a new district number.

Both boards preliminarily approved the plat in December. It was sent to the Minnesota Commissioner of Education, Brenda Cassellius, in January. Cassellius approved the plat without changes and returned it to both districts for final approval this month.

Now that the consolidation is officially moving forward, administrators in both districts will be working to provide additional information about the change to the public and to smooth the transition for Cyrus students and teachers.

As part of a public information campaign, Morris Area administrators are working on a brochure that includes information about why the districts are consolidating, enrollment and staffing considerations, financial and tax impacts and the special legislation that has been requested.

“We tried to condense it down into one document that had a lot of information but yet wasn't so overwhelming,” said Monson. “We tried to keep it basic yet informative.”

Approximately 4,000 of the brochures will be printed and mailed out to residents in both school districts by the end of the month.

Monson and Morris Area Elementary School Principal Ken Gagner have also planned a meeting in Cyrus on Tuesday, April 23 to meet with parents to talk about the consolidation and life at MAES and the school district.

There will also be two informational meetings for members of the community to learn more about the consolidation.

On Monday, April 29 at 6:30 p.m. there will be a meeting in Morris in the MAES Concert Hall. There will be a meeting in Cyrus on Tuesday, April 30 at 6:30 p.m. Parents and residents are encouraged to attend either meeting with questions.

There is still one option to stop the consolidation. According to state law, a petition calling for an election on the question of consolidation that is signed up five percent of the eligible voters in one of the districts may be filed with the district clerk within 30 days of an official notice being published.

If an election is required, the consolidation would not become effective until approved by a majority vote in the school district holding the election.