February 22, 2006 -- Posted at 10:00 P.M. CST
BLACK ROCK, AR -- Another small Region 8 community is affected by the state-mandated consolidation. Walnut Ridge voted last night to accept Black Rock and merge into one school district.
Black Rock just doesn't have enough kids. They can't keep their total student number above the state mandated 350 so, they decided to consolidate voluntarily before the state forced them too. This way, they got to pick who they wanted. The school board wanted opinions from the community.
They had 3 schools interested...Hoxie, Sloan-Hendrix, and Walnut Ridge. The school board took a vote from the faculty, students, and the community. Walnut Ridge won the vote and the school board's decision was made from there, reaching a final 3 to 2 vote.
The last step...Walnut Ridge's school board had to accept the offer to merge and Tuesday night, it became official.
Black Rock and Walnut Ridge would make an administrative consolidation...merging into one school district. Meaning, Black Rock gets to keep it's school.
"It's kinda of a win-win situation for us, for our students who are going to be able to dosome things possibly, extracurricular activities that they're going to be able to get involved with that we don't have here. And still have the same small atmosphere and the same good quality of education that we have provided," says David Foley, Black Rock Superintendent.