Northwest Arkansas Times from Fayetteville, Arkansas on March 1, 1973 · Page 23
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Northwest Arkansas Times from Fayetteville, Arkansas · Page 23

Fayetteville, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Thursday, March 1, 1973
Page 23
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To Relieve Overcrowding Bentonville School Bond Issue Said Needed BENTONVILLE - T h e proposed new Bentonville High School- would do m o r e thin p r o v i d e improved facilities for high school students, according to' Bentonville school officials. It also would give much needed relief from overcrowded conditions throughout the school. system. This need to ' "open-up" facilities on all levels was a prime factor In the decision* by the School Board to geek voters' approval for-an extension of the present millage rate and a bond Issue for construction ot the new school. For the lack of adequate space for teaching purposes is a problem in all three Bentonville schools, according to Marv i n Higginbottom, superintendent of schools. Presently, the Bentonville Public Schools are organized into an elementary school, with grades 1-5; a middle school with grades 6-8; and a high school, with grades 9-12; With the construction of the new s c h o o l , Thomas Jefferson E l e m e n t a r y School would become a primary school, with grades kindergarten through 3 the Middle School would house grades 4-6. and the present High School would become a Junior High, with grades 7-9. Grade; 10-12 would move into the new building. STUDENTS RE APPORTIONED What would this mean to lh school system? For one thing Higginbottom said, it woulc mean a more reasonable ap portionment of students to eacl of the schools, with man: resulting benefits to the educa tional process. The greatest re lief probably would be at Thorn a s J e f f e r s o n Elementary P r e s e n t l y , there is a enrollment of 1,021 pupils i this school. The building was planned for about 800 students using the recommended ratio o no more than 25 students t each classroom. There are 3 classrooms in the building an a portable addition of fou classrooms will be constructet at the school soon. By the time a new high schoc could be built, Higginbottom estimates that there will b about 750 pupils in the fir three primary grades. Th would allow school officials 'follow the recommendation 25 pupils per classroom, wi some space in the building le over. This space could be use according to Higginbottom, fi special instruction such : music or physical education, also would provide space for tl public school kindergartens th have been approved by the sta legislature and which Higgi bottom believes will be a reali within the next couple of year* CLASSES LARGE Currently in Thomas Ji ferson, classes range in si from 28 pupils (which is st three more than -the recom ended maximum) to 31 pupils; IB teacher of a clan with 3t uplls, Higginbottom estimates, s about one minute to spend th each ot these pupils In dlvlduallzed instruction in ch subject, Individualized Instruction I* a nstant goal of educators, and is especially Important in the wer grades, Higginbottom Id. However, with classes the ie they are now, teachers just ·e not able to spend the mount of time with each child at they should. "The ratio of 25 pupils to each anher Is not lor the benefit the teacher, but rather the upll." Higginbottom said. "Of ourse, when teachers have asses the size they have now, ley are frustrated because 'iey can not provide more at- ntion to each child. Rather ban allowing each child to rogress in learning at his own apacity, teachers have to try o find a pace somewhere in he middle, which is.too slow or the fast learners, and too ast for the slow learners." Of course, Higginbottom said, goes without saying that the resent situation of having two rst grade classes housed in the asement of a church is not lead crowded now. The b)g a d v a n t a g e that the new arrangement would provide. M said, Is that the Middle Satiool could offer phyvlcal education tome living, . industrial art: chorus and band to students In Ihis age group for the firsUtlme. This would be possible because of the promimity of this campus to the gymnasium and the other special-purpose buildings on the present High School campus. BROADEN CURRICULUM "We w o u l d broaden our Middle School curriculum to offer pupils exploratory elective courses that would help them discover where their Interests might lie," Higginbottom said. "For example, we might offer fifth and sixth graders some sample courses in subjects such as art, home living, or industrial arts. The major factor that restricts us in curriculum now is simply the lack of space." The consolidation of the 7th, 8th and 9th grades into a junior high housed in the present High School would create a more traditional situation for students desirable situation, onstruction of the new Down He Goes! The high chool would allow these pupils o be moved to the elementary chool, where they belong and where the children would be vith the other students of their ame age group. It would be b e t t e r situation botli ducationally and socially, the Bohhy Phillips, 9, does some fancy footwork as he roller skates on the playground at Jefferson Elementary School at Henderson, Ky. (AP Wire- photo) uperintendent said. T h e enrollment of the imposed Middle School (grades -6) would be about the same s that of the present Middle School (grades 6-8). These acilities would be adequate for his enrollment. Higginbottom said, since this School is the Alexander Seeking Continued AEA Funds WASHINGTON (AP) -- Rep. Bill Alexander, D-Ark., sought Wednesday continued funding for the Economic Development Administration for another year. The congressman made the request in an appearance before the Subcommittee on Economic Development of the House Committee on Public Works. Alexander said the EDA had produced visible results in his congressional district. He said the projects which got federal funds from EDA had generated, or was expected to generate, 7,700 new jobs. Alexander also said such programs as EDA help reduce the "congregation of the jobless and un skilled in the metropolitan areas." in these grade levels. At present, for instance, ninth graders are considered junior high students in athletics and extra-curricular activities, yet they are housed with the high school students. This puts them in something of a no-man's land, Higginbottom said; they don't really belong to either the Middle School or the High Sch'ool. The present High School would be quite adequate for a junior high, the superintendent said. In enrollment, the 7th, 8th, and 9th grades that would occupy this campus would have a b o u t 660 students, he estimates. This is about 90 less than the present 750 enrolled in High School. Higginbottom also pointed out that many of the facilities of the present High School that are considered inadequate for high school-level instruction will serve quite well for junior high purposes. As an example, the science classrooms, while not what they should be for high school science classes, will serve the needs of junior high students, because science on the junior high level does not d e m a n d t h e sophisticated grow at a rate of about 5 to 6 per cent each year, at least tor the foreseeable future. It is obvious, he pointed out, that the school system must have some NEWS WHILE IT'S NEWS IN THE TIMES place to put these students. H and the members of the Schoo Board believe that the proposec new High School is the bes ADVERTISEMENT-- erne :v THWDY ^ IM THG BGhUTY Of- w SMMISH CRUSH Absolutely indispensible to any wardrobe. So feminine. So refreshing. With a textured shine that's exact!/ right for modern dressing. laboratory equipment that it does on the high school level. Higginbottom estimates that enrollment in the Bentonville Public Schools will continue to I RED BALL Mr. Bob Perry presents a one carat diamond to Mr. R. J. Sommers of 1310 So. 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