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Two Scott County school districts consider consolidation

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SCOTT COUNTY, Ill. (WGEM) -- Winchester and Bluffs schools have a unique dynamic when it comes to who is in charge. Currently, both districts share a superintendent in Kevin Blankenship.

Scott Morgan School District currently has 250 students in the district, K-12. Winchester School District, which is 16 miles away from Bluffs has 600 students in the district, K-12.

Since both districts share several courses and a superintendent, officials decided it was best to conduct a feasibility study to determine the advantages and disadvantages of a reorganization.

Leevia Barnett has been a high-school social studies teacher at Winchester for fifteen years. As a Bluffs resident, she said the feasibility study has already raised some good questions.

“What I am doing in my different classes, the textbooks I am using. So I think one benefit that is already coming out from the feasibility study is we’re learning more about ourselves. We’re learning more about exactly what we're doing. We’re having to access our curriculum decisions that we’re already making and I think that's great," said Barnett.

Superintendent of both Winchester and Bluffs Schools, Kevin Blankenship, said the study will focus on four key areas.

“Curriculum, we’re going to look at transportation. We’re going to look at school facilities, so think school buildings, and then we’re going to look at finances as well. Those are the four key areas, but then they also look at demographics. What our enrollment projections are where they have been over the last twenty years, and where we expect them to go over the next twenty years," said Blankenship.

The superintendent said the study should be completed by November. After all the data has been collected, a joint board meeting will be conducted to determine the next steps.

Any ballot issue on consolidation wouldn't happen until March of 2022.

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Jayda Hill

Jayda Hill is a Multimedia Journalist for WGEM News.

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