Camdenton School District Superintendent Tim Hadfield believes the sky is the limit when it comes to the potential benefits of joining the Greater Ozarks Cooperating School Districts consortium.

Camdenton School District Superintendent Tim Hadfield believes the sky is the limit when it comes to the potential benefits of joining the Greater Ozarks Cooperating School Districts consortium.
Although this newly formed education cooperative is in the initial stages of development, the Camdenton School Board recently signed a memorandum of understanding as the first step to admission.  
So far, at least 16 school districts with over 70,000 students from Springfield to Nixa to Bolivar have shown interest in joining the consortium. The idea is that schools of all sizes could work together for mutual improvements, share resources and areas of expertise, and even band together for greater purchasing power.
"It could help provide services and resources to districts that might not be able to get those on their own," Hadfield said. "It opens the door to see what's successful in other districts and ask if that will work here."
The Greater Ozarks group was conceptualized in southwest Missouri, where several superintendents realized the potential of pulling resources and advocacy powers together for common causes, taking after the example set by large, metro (St. Louis and Kansas City) education cooperatives. It was something the Camdenton school board had discussions about in previous years, but never came to fruition.
"Having a seat at the table with the Commissioner of Education is very exciting because the other cooperatives already have that opportunity," Hadfield said. "We're excited about the open line of communication that could become available.
Over the last school year, after visiting with several superintendents in southwest Missouri, Hadfield introduced the memorandum of understanding to his school board, which was ultimately signed. The agreement is not final, just a step to open more information and discussion. Currently, the bylaws for the consortium are being written, which the board would ultimately have to approve.
"It's very preliminary," Hadfield said. "But we expect to have this flushed out over the next school year."