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Kingsley-Pierson School Board Ends Sport Sharing Agreement with River Valley Following Community Input

The Kingsley-Pierson Community School District held their monthly school board meeting on Monday, April 8. The board planned to discuss and vote on the future of their sport sharing agreement with the River Valley School District that was agreed to in their October meeting.

That agreement had come under fire in the last couple of months for a number of reasons. Taylor Doeschot, Kingsley-Pierson’s head baseball coach and a parent of an athlete, says one of the reasons was the classification bump it forced. With River Valley’s enrollment added to Kingsley-Pierson’s, the school’s shared programs became Class 2A teams. Doeschot says it was evident especially in tournament time that the Panthers were not able to hang with true 2A schools.

The second reason for the frustration was due to the timing of the agreement. In football, the school board made their decision in February with five months of advance notice ahead of the first practices. The revised agreement involving basketball happened in October giving the basketball teams less than a month before practices to acclimate to new teammates and a new team identity. Doeschot says a decision like this needed a bit more planning and community input before being implemented.

This prompted Doeschot to gauge community opinion on social media. He found there was enough frustration with the decision that there would be momentum to bring it to the school board for reconsideration.

The Kingsley-Pierson school board held a public forum during their March meeting that heavily focused on the agreement with nine people speaking directly to the board about the issue. The board voted to table any decision on the agreement to April’s meeting. After another month of listening to constituents, the board voted to end the agreement in all sports except for football due to the two-year scheduling requirements from the Iowa High School Athletic Association. The board received four “yes” votes and one abstaining vote from Pierson Representative Phillip Herbold. Doeschot says he was grateful that the board responded to the community input and voted with the will of their constituents.

The agreement will end in all sports except for football following the conclusion of the baseball and softball seasons this summer. The board also agreed to revisit the football sharing agreement following the conclusion of the upcoming 2024 football season.