Originally published Saturday, November 11, 2017 at 04:52p.m.

RIMROCK – Each year, the K-8 Beaver Creek School District pays about $750,000 in tuition to send its previous year’s graduates to either Camp Verde, Mingus Union or Sedona-Red Rock high schools.

That’s not likely to change. Unless Beaver Creek School District were to unify, meaning become a K-12 school.

The Rimrock school is making no plans to expand its program to keep its eight-grade promotees in the area.

But Monday, Yavapai County School Superintendent Tim Carter will visit the Beaver Creek School District’s governing board and share “options for K-8 schools to offer high school programming,” says District Superintendent Karin Ward.

Ward made it clear that soliciting information does not mean the district has any plans to unify.

“This is us looking at the fact that some students fall through the cracks,” Ward says. “The board is interested in hearing what Mr. Carter has to say. We want to see what the possibilities are.”

Ward says that when a school district spends “three quarters of a million dollars for high school tuition,” Beaver Creek School District is only doing its due diligence as it looks at “options for the future.”

The future, Ward says, is not tomorrow. At least not literally.

There’s more to making a decision such as expanding one’s school than saving or maximizing money. Though economics do play a role, Ward says. Not just for the district, but also for the community’s tax payers.

For example, Beaver Creek did not have a vote in the Nov. 7 Mingus Union override election. Though more than 40 students who graduated Beaver Creek a year ago now attend Mingus Union High School.

Unifying the district – becoming a K-12 school district – “doesn’t affect the district’s K-8 budget,” Ward says. “But $750,000 does affect the tax payers’ tax rate.”

As Beaver Creek School at least begins discussions – begins a fact-finding venture – Ward has several questions.

“Could we do it better? Could we do it less expensively – and offer a comprehensive high school education?”

And Ward isn’t the only one at BCSD with a curious mind. It is her board, she says, who asked that Carter join them at one of their monthly board meetings.

“It will open up discussions,” Ward says. “Whether it goes anywhere, that’s up to the board. But this is just an initial conversation.”

According to a draft copy of the Nov. 13 agenda, the Beaver Creek school board will also discuss classroom social contracts, as well as the school/public library’s new learning lounge.

From 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 20, Yavapai College staff will be on site at the learning lounge, which was formerly a meeting room between the library and the district/school office, to help prospective college students with their financial aid application – FASFA – and their spring semester application.

For more information about the library’s learning lounge, call 567-4034. The library, as well as the learning lounge, are open from 10:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

At 6 p.m. Monday, the Beaver Creek School District governing board will meet in its governing board room on campus, located at 4810 E. Beaver Creek Road in Rimrock. Call 928-567-4631 for more information.

A copy of the Nov. 13 agenda will be available within 24 hours of the 5 p.m. executive session at http://www.bcs.k12.az.us/Governing_Board.

-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42

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