Board approves BV Academy


The Buckeye Valley Board of Education on Wednesday approved a plan to allow some fifth graders to opt into attending classes at Buckeye Valley Middle School as part of the new Buckeye Valley Academy.

The plan was first discussed by the board last month when Superintendent Paul Craft reported that he and the facilities committee had complied a list of possible solutions to the growing student population at West Elementary on state route 257. During his presentation, Craft said his recommended course of action would be to provide an option for parents to send fifth graders from both elementary schools within the district to Buckeye Valley Middle School for an alternative education program.

Craft said the program was tentatively referred to as the “Buckeye Valley Academy,” and he added 58% of fourth grade parents who responded to a district survey said they’d be interested in the program. Last month, Craft said the plan is estimated to free up two classrooms at West and one at East Elementary, based on the responses to the survey.

Craft added that according to the survey, the most attractive features were the STEM/robotics program the fifth graders could get involved in at the middle school, the core knowledge outlined by the academy, and the middle school schedule.

On Wednesday, the board approved the plan, and Craft said he will begin taking the next steps to inform parents about the specifics of the program.

“(It has the) double goal of addressing facility challenges and adding academically diverse opportunities for our students,” Craft said.

He went on to add the goal will be to have about 75 fifth graders at the middle school, but he doesn’t think 75 is a hard limit.

Board President Amy Dutt asked how the district will involve parents and the community. Craft responded by saying the district will be putting together committees with one to two parents from each building, and the district will also be hosting informational meetings at each building. Craft added that information will also be sent via email and newsletter for parents who are unable to attend the informational meetings.

“We’ll get staff, administrators, and parents onto that planning group and really start fleshing this out,” Craft said. “I’m extremely excited about having another academic option.”

Last month, Craft said the facilities committee would continue to monitor enrollment and could consider additional courses of action as needed.

The board will meet next on Nov. 16 at 6:30 p.m.

Buckeye Valley Middle School is located at 683 Coover Road, Delaware. Valley Middle School is located at 683 Coover Road, Delaware. Paul Craft | Buckeye Valley Local Schools

By Glenn Battishill

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Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.

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