BIC changes 3rd through 6th grades campuses

BIC changes 3rd through 6th grades campuses

MONETTE, AR (KAIT) - The Buffalo Island Central School District won't get new school buildings anytime soon, but has not stopped the district from making big changes.

Earlier this month, voters rejected a proposed millage increase to build 2 new school buildings in Leachville and Monette.

That forced the school to go back to the drawing board on how to better serve students.

For more than a decade, there are have been 2 competing elementary schools in Leachville and Monette. BIC's new plan takes away that competitive nature for 3rd through 6th grade.

"We are completely convinced it is going to be a better situation for our students," West Elementary Principal Dr. Kima Stewart said.

In August, West Elementary in Monette will house all 3rd and 4th graders and the East Elementary in Leachville will house all 5th and 6th grade students.

Dr. Stewart said many teachers drive back and forth between campuses to teach. While this new plan won't stop all teachers from traveling, it will reduce the amount of time they are on the road.

Stewart said that will allow for them to focus on their courses and students.

The district has a transportation plan in place, as well.

"We will have separate shuttle buses that will leave from Monette transporting the students whose homes are in Monette that will have to go to the East campus and reverse," Stewart said.

Stewart said they investigated all options, and the longest distance from a bus route in Monette to Leachville is under 45 minutes.

Another plus, Stewart said the Junior High Principal will have a unified 7th grade class.

"He stated to the school that about 50% of his discipline problems were from incoming 7th graders that didn't know each other," Stewart said.

She added it also makes sense to have all 5th and 6th graders at the East campus because it will allow them to visit the Junior High School throughout the year before moving up to 7th grade.

The school held a parent meeting on Thursday afternoon to explain the plan and give parents an opportunity to ask questions.

Stewart said she knows change can be difficult, but they truly believe this will benefit students academically and socially.

The restructuring will begin in August.

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