As the new school year begins across much of the state this week, there’s a new district with a familiar name in northeast Iowa.

The North Winneshiek Community School has been scaling back for years and ceased to exist on June 30th, as did the old Decorah Community School District. Mark Lane is the new district’s superintendent.

“And on July first, a new entity with the name Decorah Community School District came into existence,” Lane says. “So we are really, we’re really just a six-week old school district.” Lane says North Winn students moving into Decorah buildings will find familiar faces among classmates as well as teachers, bus drivers and other staff.

Jim Samuelson, director of transportation in Decorah, says it’s been tricky to nearly double the square mileage of the district without making students’ travel time unwieldy. Samuelson says as currently planned, some rides may last just over an hour.

“Obviously, once we get going and every student, per se, not riding on their route, we should be able to say right at the hour or just inside the hour,” Samuelson says. He says some routes may have 10 or 15 minutes after the last student boards before they arrive at school.

(Thanks to Amy Mayer, Iowa Public Radio)