Western Nebraska Observer - Observations all along the line - Kimball & the Southern Panhandle First

Students and parents have more options in education


January 18, 2018

More than a dozen Kimball students have opted to attend classes in neighboring districts this year.

During the December Board of Education meeting High School principal, Eugene Hanks, reported to the board

that 17 students currently opt into either Banner County or Potter-Dix schools.

The total number of students who attend classes in Potter-Dix is 35, with 23 in elementary and twelve in junior or senior high school.

“Though we have seen an increase in option enrollment students from Kimball this past summer, most of these

students (minus the kindergartners of course) have been going to Potter-Dix for several years,” Potter-Dix superintendant, Mike Williams, said.

Banner County has seven students who live in the Kimball district but attend classes, including one pre-K, one 6th grade, 2 eighth grade and three seniors.

Currently Potter-Dix sends a bus to Kimball to transport students with a bus stop at Main Street Market.

According to Banner County Schools superintendant, Lana Sides, during a recent school board meeting a parent

requested that the school transport students to and from Kimball. Sides communicated the request to the Banner County board and at the December board meeting, approval for transportation was granted.

“We currently send a Suburban to Kimball and pick students up at Main Street Market,” Sides added.

Students opt into Banner County from several neighboring districts and Sides said that she sees many good reasons for doing so.

In some cases the parents want students to be in a district closer to their own workplace and in some instances, it is simply for smaller class sizes.

“In elementary classes, the class size is about the same,” Hanks, said. “In High School, it probably is (smaller).”

However, Hanks added, that Kimball’s FFA program, music program, accelerated learning classes and large

number of electives could be a great benefit to students with a variety of interests considering option enrollment

in Kimball.

Some of those elective classes include woods, drafting, auto mechanics, welding and residential construction as well as band, choir, jazz band, show choir, business classes, art, publications and several consumer science classes such as independent living, foods, parenting and floral design.

Kimball also offers a home room class and a work study program that allows upperclassmen the opportunity to use two class periods to work at their job, earning both credits and a paycheck.

“That is probably one of our biggest strengths,” Hanks said. “For a small school we offer a lot of different electives.”


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