Eagle Mountain to put focus on medical sciences

By Lisa Burnett Originally Published March 17, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated March 15, 2013 at 12:12 p.m.
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— The students of Eagle Mountain Health Wellness and International Studies Magnet Elementary School will soon be students at a school with a new name and focus.

Principal Pat Rutherford said there had been talks last year of changing the name and focus of the school, but she and other school officials wanted to ask students and parents in the district for their opinions on the matter.

A survey was given to students and parents around Christmastime to see if students’ interests had changed, Rutherford said. When Eagle Mountain officials originally decided the school would focus on health, wellness and international studies, Rutherford said, she knew students’ interests would evolve.

“Health and wellness has just taken off,” Rutherford said.

In August, the elementary school, which houses kindergartners through sixth-graders, will change its name to Eagle Mountain Health Wellness and Medical Sciences Magnet Elementary School.

Rutherford said the school will have a stronger focus on the health sciences because that interest has sparked within the school.

“We’ve received lots of support around the Batesville community,” Rutherford said. “We’re wanting to partner with the local colleges with pre-med [programs], veterinarians, pharmacists, home health, just to show [the students] what’s available healthwise.”

By partnering with medical students and professionals in the Batesville community, Rutherford said, more guest speakers will be brought into the school for the students.

Rutherford said students are more likely to be successful if they like what they are learning.

The school will focus on health and medical sciences, but children in the Batesville School District will not be limited to what Eagle Mountain will offer.

Rutherford said there are three other magnet schools in the district that have other focuses.

“There are two math/science schools and one performing arts school,” Rutherford said.

Although Eagle Mountain has a new focus, Rutherford said, students will still learn about other cultures and

traditions, even though that focus will no longer be included in the school’s name.

“It won’t have as large of an emphasis as the medical science will now,” Rutherford said.

Rutherford said she is looking for grants to purchase new equipment for the school’s health science lab, and to create more opportunities for field trips for the students.

“I think it’s going to open up a world of possibilities for our students,” Rutherford said.

Nicole Floyd, president of the Parent Teacher Organization for Eagle Mountain, said she looks forward to the change.

“I’m excited about the possibilities it’s going to bring in,” Floyd said. “There are going to be so many opportunities for our kids.”

Staff writer Lisa Burnett can be reached at (501)244-4307 or lburnett@arkansasonline.com.

Online News Editor Lisa Burnett can be reached at lburnett@arkansasonline.com.

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