Carthage School Bond To Help With Expanding Student Population

Carthage School District dealing with substitute teacher shortage

The Carthage School District has grown by 400 students since 2009. And thanks to the passage of an $18 million dollar school bond last night, the District will be under construction to make room for the expanding student population.

If you ask 3rd grade teacher Brittany Thompson how full her school is, she’ll tell you it’s filled to the brim. According to the Carthage School District, each year about 90 students are joining it’s schools, mostly in its lower grade levels. The District even had to rent space at a local church this school year to make room.
“We only have four 3rd grade teachers, and by the time that group reaches us, we’re going to have to grow a classroom, which at this point, we don’t have space for,” Thompson said.
Which is why Carthage Superintendent Blaine Henningsen says the District is ecstatic to see voters pass an $18 million dollar School Bond Tuesday night by a 67 percent margin.
“That tells us that our community is behind us with our planning that we’ve done,” Henningsen said.
Planning that includes moving all Carthage 4th and 5th graders to this piece of land on Fir and Chapel Road in town. The new building pictured here will be called an Intermediate Center. And Henningsen says this building will leave room breathing room for the District’s current five Elementary Schools.

“We’re trying to be preemptive, be proactive, and address this issue before it becomes critical,” Henningsen said.

And for teachers like Thompson the move will be bittersweet. She says seeing the 4th graders leave her campus will be sad, but will open up space and prevent her class sizes from getting our of hand.

“We need those spaces to provide kids individually what they need, and by preserving small class sizes and preserving those spaces, we are really tailoring education to help every kid,” she said.

Construction on the Intermediate Center is set to start in the next few months. The District says it will take about two years to complete.

The bond will also pay for an expansion and renovation of it’s current Middle School. Including a new media center and library–as well as storm safe rooms on its campus.