Due to declining enrollment, the North Winneshiek School Board is taking a proactive approach to the District's future.

At a special joint meeting Monday evening between the North Winneshiek and Decorah school boards, North Winneshiek Superintendent Tim Dugger explained based on a recent feasibility study, his District will not be able to maintain its current preschool through 8th grade program beyond the year 2017.

Dugger said although the District is financially stable and is meeting or exceeding all educational benchmarks, the Board wants to do what's best for students, families and taxpayers in the District.

Both boards approved motions to begin preliminary conversations about future opportunities for collaboration. Decorah Superintendent Mike Haluska, Decorah Board President Ron Fadness and Decorah Board Vice President Melanie Tietz will represent Decorah, and Dugger, North Winneshiek Board President Brenda Kreitzer and North Winneshiek Board Vice President Ben Lange will represent North Winn.

"We'd like to begin talks sooner rather than later," said Dugger.

Decorah and North Winneshiek currently participate in a whole-grade sharing agreement for grades 9-12.

The agreement, which is made in five-year increments, has been in place since 2002, when North Winneshiek closed its high school due to declining enrollment.

For more on this story, see Thursday's Decorah Journal.