Parents Concerned About Bentonville School District Rezoning Plans

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BENTONVILLE (KFSM) -- The Bentonville School District held a meeting Wednesday (Feb. 3) to help parents and students understand what district rezoning would mean for them.

The topic has been heavily debated in the community since many elementary schools students would have to switch schools.

Lisa Kenworthy moved to Northwest Arkansas from Texas in 2015. Her son, who is in second grade, now faces having to change schools for a third time based on where he lives.

“He had already established friends and teachers at his current school,” Kenworthy said.

Superintendent Michael Poore said the rezoning is necessary because of the rapid growth in the district. Poore said an additional 600 new elementary school students enrolled in the district during the 2014-2015 school year alone.

Kenworthy said the new rezoning would bring her child closer to home, but it would ruin his relationships with his new friends and teachers.

"It is closer for us, so that is a good thing, but we are just concerned for him and his well-being," Kenworthy said.

And not all students would be moved to schools closer to their home.

Mike Calbi`s daughter, who is in third grade, would be sent to a school that's further away than the one she attends now. Calbi said right now he's just a short walk from his daughter's school.

“We are less than a mile away, so we figured that the school would be where we would end up [when we bought our home,]” Calbi said.

Calbi said the district’s new rezoning proposal would make the commute to school unsafe for his daughter.

“Instead of being able to walk to school, we would have to go across town to downtown Bentonville to drop her off, which is about two miles away,” Calbi said.

Poore said he understand rezoning the district will shift students around, but he assured parents that their children would be receiving a great education no matter which school they attend.