As the two school districts that serve Williston continue to struggle with growing enrollment and how to collaborate, one resident is trying to find out exactly what others want to see.
Chris Jundt, who lives in Williams County Public School District No. 8, is asking other residents of the district to complete a short survey about their preference for the future of the district. The survey asks whether people would prefer District 8 to become a K-12 district, dissolve and be absorbed by the other districts in the county, remain a K-8 district whose older students attend high school elsewhere or some other option.
Jundt is hoping to get as many responses as possible before the District 8 school board meeting set for Monday, Oct. 14. He’s asked to be added to the agenda so he can tell the board what his informal survey finds.
So far, he said, many of the responses appear to favor dissolving.
Jundt said that he thinks part of the reason for that is Williston Public School District No. 1 has between 4,300 and 4,400 students, while District 8 has between 750 and 800. District 8 has a larger taxable valuation, though.
“That just doesn’t make any sense,” he said of having two K-12 districts with such disparate amounts of taxable valuation per student.
Jundt’s survey comes as the two districts try to find a way to cooperate to deal with increasing enrollment. Late last month the school board for District 1 voted to no longer accept out-of-district high school students after this school year.
That leaves District 8 to find a way to educate more than 200 high school students that currently attend Williston High School.
Jundt hopes the survey will help the board for District 8 decide the best way forward. He’s asking for people to return the survey by Saturday, Oct. 12.
“That will give me some time to make sure things are compiled,” he said.