BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — As five Bentonville schools reach full capacity, the district is weighing solutions, and how they would affect students.
There are two attendance zone adjustment concepts for alleviating Bentonville Schools’ overcrowding. Both avoid changing the current high school boundaries and aim to keep neighborhoods within the same zones.
The two plans were drafted and presented by a company based in Kansas City during the May 2 school board meeting. They differ in the amount of students that would be forced to switch schools, and how often classes of students are split as they get older.
The first concept has the least amount of current students switching schools, but was not intended to keep feeder schools intact, meaning more classes will be broken up when moving up to a new school.
In order to help Centerton Gamble and Vaughn Elementry, Concept One shows Elm Tree Elementary’s boundary expanding west of Highway 72 to Main Street, Central Park’s boundary expanding to Adams Road and Main Street, and Willowbrook Elementry to pick up more students west of Rainbow Road. The Concept One maps for boundary changes at the elementary schools can be viewed here.
Concept One has similar expansions for middle and junior high schools as well, in order to keep Creekside Middle School and Grimsely Junior High from reaching full capacity. You can check the proposed changes to the middle schools here and junior highs here.
The second concept forces more students to switch schools, but keeps more feeder school classes intact.
This strategy includes Jefferson Elementary expanding its boundaries to include more Centerton Gamble students, and boundary adjustments for all middle schools.
You can find the boundary maps for Concept Two elementary schools here, middle schools here and junior highs here.
In the meeting, school board members said they want to continue editing each concept map after hearing feedback from parents before they vote on the new school zones in July.
If approved, the new attendance zone adjustments wouldn’t take effect until the 2024-2025 school year. Below is a timeline leading up to the school board vote:
- May 16: Board of Education Regular Meeting
- May 22: Fulbright Jr. High Community Forum at 5:30 p.m.
- May 23: Old High Middle Community Forum at 5:30 p.m.
- June 20: Board of Education Meeting with Final Read
- July 18: Board of Education Meeting with Board Vote
You can take a look at all the potential rezoning plans and current boundaries here. The form to submit your feedback can be found here.
KNWA/FOX24 did reach out to a Bentonville Schools for an interview on how these changes could affect students and families, but the district declined.