‘About 60’ VOC Big Park students now enrolled at Cornville’s Oak Creek School

Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District Superintendent Steve King said that “about 60 children” from the former Big Park Community School have enrolled at Oak Creek School in Cornville. VVN/Bill Helm

Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District Superintendent Steve King said that “about 60 children” from the former Big Park Community School have enrolled at Oak Creek School in Cornville. VVN/Bill Helm

COTTONWOOD – A year ago, Oak Creek School was home to about 230 students.

With a month to go before the new school year, the Cornville school has already enrolled 300 students, according to Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District Superintendent Steve King.

About 60 of those students, King said, attended Sedona’s Big Park Community School a year ago – a school that no longer exists.

“It’s a pretty big jump,” said King, who pointed to the four new teachers the district has hired to accommodate the school’s growing population.

As of Thursday, Cottonwood-Oak Creek has hired six teachers and two support staff who worked last year in the Sedona School District.

“They don’t always list if they were at Big Park or another campus,” King said.

In a cost-cutting move, the Sedona-Oak Creek Unified School District governing board voted to close Big Park following the 2017-2018 school year.

Because Big Park was an elementary school, the bulk of its school’s students to have enrolled at Oak Creek School are K-5, King also said.

As Cottonwood-Oak Creek is an open-enrollment district, King also said he expects “there could be more” students to enroll from Big Park.

Budget approval

On Tuesday, Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District’s governing board is expected to approve its fiscal year 2018-2019 budget.

Based on Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District’s most updated proposed budget, last year’s teachers are expected to see a 12-percent pay increase this year, said David Snyder, the district’s business manager.

According to Snyder, the raise is mostly a result of money Gov. Doug Ducey recently promised the state’s schools.

To get to the 12-percent teacher salary raise, Snyder said the district also factored in inflationary increase.

In addition to the salary increase for teachers, the Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District also proposes a 9-percent increase for support staff and a 6-percent increase for administration that has not already signed a contract for 2018-2019.

The Cottonwood-Oak Creek School Board will hold a budget public hearing at 5:25 p.m., followed by its regularly scheduled monthly meeting at 5:30 p.m. at the District Office, located at 1 N. Willard St. in Cottonwood.

A copy of the agendas, including the proposed budget, can be found at https://www.boarddocs.com/az/cocsd/Board.nsf/vpublic?open.

Call 928-634-2288 for more information.

-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42

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