The Eldon School District, is once again, making changes that will impact hundreds of students, furthering the goal of creating the best environment to meet the needs of their students.

The Eldon School District, is once again, making changes that will impact hundreds of students, furthering the goal of creating the best environment  to meet the needs of their students. 

“Over the years, we have made several changes, which have improved our school tremendously. Most recently, we moved our start time back, added breakfast in the classroom, a Nurse Practitioner, and this year we are focusing on the social-emotional health of our students,” Superintendent Matt Davis said. “As a district, we have embraced these changes because we know when our students eat breakfast or can get healthcare when they need it, our students grow, learn, and develop in the very best ways. As we look to the future, we have identified another needed change to improve our schools and students to build the best foundation for each student.”

Eldon is struggling with finding enough space to serve students and was congestion in the elementary schools without constructing new facilities. The district plans on moving several elementary classes around to accommodate the need for additional space and adding on at the middle school facility. There are several options under consideration for the middle school but as many as 6 classrooms could be added to the existing facility. 

Third grade will move from the South Elementary  to the Upper Elementary building. The two elementary schools are located on the same campus and share a common area for busses coming and going. The sixth grade,  currently at the Upper Elementary, will be moving to the middle school that is home to the seventh and eight grade. 

 Currently, Eldon’s South School is one of the largest elementary schools in the state. Both gym areas are used as lunchrooms for the five lunch shifts that go from 10:45 am to 1:15 pm. With the more narrow hallways, even passing time must be planned. 

“This age group also has more parent engagement with more parents visiting South School than any other school throughout the year. By moving one grade to Upper, all of this congestion at various times of the year will be reduced and we believe safety will be improved,” Davis said. “We did have outside trailers for our Early Childhood Special Education classrooms but we decided to eliminate the trailers several years ago and we don’t want to go back to having trailers.”

With many students requiring outside agency support, additional space is needed for counseling sessions and meetings at South School.

“As we add more preschool classes and continue to serve students with many challenging needs, more space is required in South. We believe our preschool and early special education classes, as well as, opportunities for additional reading and math interventions are the keys to providing the best learning foundation for each student,” Davis said.  

After considering multiple scenarios, the recommended solution from the administrative team is to move third grade to Upper and sixth grade to Middle School. That will give the district  approximately 500 students at South, 425 at Upper, 425 at Middle, and 560 at High School, which are numbers more aligned with best practices, he said. 

Davis said the district has 'made due' in multiple areas for a long time because the budget was simply not in a position to make the needed changes. As the district has become financially stable, it is time to provide solutions for the elementary campus. 

“The addition at the Middle School and movement of third & sixth grades is the best plan we have at this time for our budget,” he said.