Bentonville Millage Fails, Now What?
The Bentonville School District is looking for solutions to deal with the growth issues after a millage election that would have funding a new school failed.
One option is having a split schedule for students. The district’s superintendent says that is an extreme measure but one they will have to consider as a solution to overcrowding at the high school.
“We actually then are forced into different utilization model because we can’t add and have 32 kids in the classroom or 33 or 34 or 35, we have to maintain it at 30,” Superintendent Michael Poore said.
On a split schedule, freshman and sophomores would be in an afternoon group and juniors and senior would attend school in the morning.
“We will have kids coming in at 7 a.m., that could be going until 1:30-2 and then another group coming in 2-2:30 and going to 8:30-9 o’ clock at night,” said Poore.
Bentonville High School Principal Kim Garrett deals with a large student body every day during the school year. She says if the school adopts a split schedule; the district will have to add bus routes which would require drivers on the roads even earlier.
The high school will also need to take student athletics into consideration.
“For us to have students on an afternoon schedule, evening schedule we would have to really look at our student body and make sure they were not participating in sports to be in that second group of students,” Garrett said.
In the meantime, the district says they will make adjustments, such as utilizing storage space and portable classrooms and making staff adjustments.
The district estimates that by 2015 there will be 4,500 high school students.