Two area school districts, Oak Grove and Grain Valley, are putting aside any thoughts of rivalry to work together and save money.

Two area school districts, Oak Grove and Grain Valley, are putting aside any thoughts of rivalry to work together and save money.

Presented at the Oak Grove Board of Education meeting Monday, the plan will create a partnership between Oak Grove and Grain Valley in transporting students to the Fort Osage Career and Technology Center during the 2010-11 school year. Students are transported daily in morning and afternoon sessions to take a variety of classes including business, culinary arts and automotive among others.

Randy McClain, principal at Oak Grove High School, said Oak Grove was facing a $20,000 cost to transport students to the CTC for the afternoon session. He said in tight budget times, the district needed to look at ways to cut money. There were even discussions of students driving themselves the 17 miles to attend classes.

However, after discussing the situation with Grain Valley High School officials, who were also having problems finding funds to transport students in both sessions, a plan was devised.

Grain Valley will supply transportation for both high schools in the morning, while Oak Grove will supply transportation for the afternoon session.

On inclement weather days when Grain Valley is in session, but Oak Grove is not, Oak Grove will still have to provide a bus for the Grain Valley students to get to the CTC.

“Grain Valley had been discussing sending students to classes only in the morning session, which was not making the CTC very happy. However, this would have meant they would have to add an additional bus to make it work,” McClain said. “So what we did was come together to work up a schedule. It helps both schools to save money in these tight economic times.”

McClain said the schedule will have to be “tweaked” once the school year starts, but he feels it is a workable solution for both school districts.

“This allows us to send our students to the CTC without an additional cost to the school district,” he said. “That is a good thing for both of us.”

Superintendent Freddie Doherty said he is happy to see that Grain Valley and Oak Grove can work together to solve budget dilemmas.

“It is a win, win for both and a great deal for everyone,” he said. “We are working together to cut costs.”