Atwood Supt Says Merger Means Better Opportunities
The Superintendent at Atwood-Hammond school district says a change approved by voters Tuesday is only starting to set in.
"I think everybody doesn't know what to think," said Superintendent Kenny Schwengel. "It''s a real big change. I've seen a few tears, but I've also seen some kids with a lot of enthusism."
The annexation measure approved by voters in the district, as well as those in Arthur, means grades 9-12 from the Atwood district will be bussed to Arthur-Lovington High School beginning with the 2014-2015 school year.
The change was approved in Arthur by wide margin. The voter approval margin in the Atwood-Hammond district was just over 100 votes, but Schwengel said even his community knows it’s necessary.
He said finances have forced the high school’s 115 students to give up taking some classes.
“We don’t have multiple sections of classes, so, if say, band for instance, has to be offered first hour," he said. "That’s your only choice to take band. So if it’s up against a particular math class – you have to make that choice. So our band numbers drop. Whereas with more students – you can have multiple sections of class that are offered in the afternoon and in the morning.”
Arthur-Lovington will have a combined enrollment of about 300 after the annexation takes effect. Students in pre-kindergarten through 8th grade will still attend school in Atwood. All students will be in the Arthur school district.
Schwengel said Arthur’s school board is seeking input for a new high school name, and a school mascot over the next several months.