Education is extremely important and the need for a broadly based education with emphasis on technical and human relations skills is apparent in our society. Standards developed by educators and planners can provide guidance in the creation of, and additions to, the community's educational facilities. The school in Bennet should meet the following standards/guidelines:
- Schools should be centrally located
- Schools should not be located near high traffic or heavily concentrated areas with high noise levels
- Land acquisition should be made with future expansion in mind
- Adequate open space should be available to students
The Village of Bennet is part of school district OR-1, a combined district including Bennet and Palmyra. The elementary school is located in Bennet and the junior-senior high school is in Palmyra. Bus service is provided between the schools. The office of the superintendent is located in Palmyra, and there is a principal at each of the schools.
The Bennet Elementary building was completed in August of 1982. It was attached to a gymnasium thatwas completed in 1963. Most recently, District OR1 completed an addition to the west end of the facility adding four additional classrooms. This additional space allowed for current rooms to beremodeled into a computer lab and an additional all-day kindergarten program.
Bennet staff and students have met the challenge of rebuilding the playground with new, saferequipment. They completed this in three phases with fund-raisers that include brownie sales andhome-interior parties.
The Palmyra building was remodeled in 1982 and an addition was built that included a gymnasium, lockerrooms, industrial arts/vocational agriculture shop, kitchen and administrative office. This site is also limitedin terms of space for parking, and the athletic field does not contain enough room to allow for a regulationtrack. The Palmyra High School current enrollment is 234 students, which is 78% of the estimated maximum capacity for the facility. The School District estimates the useful life of the Bennet building andthe Palmyra addition to be 60 years.
District OR1 patrons recently watched an addition constructed on the north face of the old building.Finally removed was the temporary metal shed that housed math, band and history. Added were a new library,band room, computer lab, distance education center, four classrooms, two science labs, and two locker areas. Additional remodeling within the structure helped improve current classrooms and office areas.
Table 15 - Estimate of School Age Population
Source: District OR-1
The pupil/teacher ratio is 14/1 which is considered sufficient to allow students to have adequate contact with their teachers. Class sizes are such that they provide a positive learning environment. With an average of 18 students per classroom, staff members are able to relate to their students on a personal basis.
The instructional program of the schools is in compliance with the requirements of the State Department of Education. The implementation of the Differentiated Curriculum in the elementary grades has helped to supplement the curriculum by offering extended opportunities for learning to each student. The Drug Abuse Resistance Program (DARE) strengthens the decision making skills in 5th and 6th grades. The high school computer lab provides computer technology that enhances the total instructional program. The junior/senior high activities program offers a wide range of activities that meet the needs and interests of the majority of students. These programs are managed by competent and qualified coaches, sponsors, and advisors. A need still exists to examine a way of providing advanced courses and meeting the needs of gifted children. The school district should strive to become a part of the interactive distance learning and Internet connectivity projects now being deployed by the State Department of Education through the local Educational Service Unit.