Region 8 School District to Close

January 10, 2005--Posted at 5:30 p.m. CDT

Randolph County, AR--The Arkansas Board of Education voted yesterday to close the elementary and high schools in 4 towns across the state. Two of those towns, Biggers and Reyno, are here in Region 8.  Now change is in store for the 182 students who are currently enrolled schools that will close their doors for good in June. According to state law a school district must have at least 350 students to remain open.

"To be consolidated based on a number was kind of a bitter pill to swallow," said Biggers/Reyno High School Principal Ralph Morrow Jr.

After talking to school districts in Delaplaine, Maynard, Pocahontas, a decision was made to consolidate with Corning schools.

"We are such a small community and a lot of people move here for the small schools and for the one on one attention and now that isn't going to happen," said Tricia Hudson whose son attends the elementary.

The elementary and high school in Biggers and Reyno will close at the end of the year tearing apart a student body.

"Most of our student were born and raised in these communities and always went to school at Biggers and Reyno," said Morrow.

The Biggers/Reyno School District has been around for 109 years and for a number of teachers who were once students in this school district the last semester will be an emotional one.

"Very emotional and as the year progresses we will be going through our last graduation ceremony, very difficult," said Morrow.

The State Board of Education made the decision to close the school district after a vote by local school board members was split. Now parents like Tricia Hudson are looking at the potential options for their children other than Corning schools.

"A lot of the parents here feel that, they either going to Maynard or Pocahontas just simply because the way things were done. A lot of parents don't want to support the administration because of the way things were done," said Hudson.

"As far as how many are going to go to the surrounding school districts and how many are going to Corning we will just have to see about that," said Morrow.

For the teachers who are currently employed with Biggers/Reyno Schools, they will have jobs next year with the Corning School District.