Butler County Times Gazette
  • Small Kansas school saved by agriculture charter

  • An east-central Kansas elementary school that nearly closed six years ago is bursting with students and has a long waiting list, and it's attracting visitors from as far away as New Zealand.
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  • An east-central Kansas elementary school that nearly closed six years ago is bursting with students and has a long waiting list, and it's attracting visitors from as far away as New Zealand.
    The recovery started in 2007, when the Newton School District changed the K-4 school in Walton to a charter with an agricultural theme. Agriculture is used to teach all classes, and each class pairs with a local farm family.
    By 2005, only about 75 students attended Walton Elementary. Now, the 167 students attend the Walton Rural Life Center learn by doing all the chores associated with a farm. The waiting list goes to 2018.
    The Kansas City Star reports (http://bit.ly/14vmwoG ) since the charter opened, state assessment rates hover around 97 percent for reading and 100 percent for math.

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