Magazine Schools Superintendent Brett Bunch informed school district staff, via an email Friday, his resignation had been accepted by the Magazine School Board.
Bunch, who has been in the position for four years, is leaving to become the superintendent at Newport. He had previously been through multiple interviews with the Smackover-Norphlet and Bergman school districts.
Bunch went through an interview process Thursday in Newport that included students, parents, certified staff, classified staff, and the board.
While in Magazine Bunch led the effort to convert the school year to a so-called hybrid schedule in which students attend the same number of days as their peers across the state, but do so between late July and early June, leaving about a seven week summer.
Bunch wanted the schedule instituted to reduce the “summer slide,” or the amount of information students do not retain during the summer, and to help students who may fall behind by making resources available during breaks, or intercession weeks.
Magazine is the only district in the stae on such a schedule which has made the school, and Bunch, popular among educators and at least one search firm which placed him on their recommendation lists.
At least 20 superintendents have sought data from Bunch about the success of the schedule.
Bunch said last week data is showing a three percent jump in reading in grades kindergarten through six, and that attendance is up and disciplinary issues have dropped.
Bunch said he was asked about the schedule during his interviews in Newport last week but he said he would like to get acclimated for at least a year before making a switch there.
“The calendar itself will work anywhere,” said Bunch. “It just depends on what you’re trying to accomplish.”
Asked by Bunch to commit to the idea for three years, the Magazine School Board did so in January 2018 and voted to give Bunch a three-year contract to match the commitment.
Bunch was one of the recommendations made to the district by a search firm with the district was replacing the retiring Sandra Beck.
The new opening for the district is attracting attention. Bunch said a job listing had drawn almost 200 views by Saturday and the district has already received six applications.
The listing, Bunch said, will be up through April 15 and he expects the board to select three people to interview, with hopes of having a selection made by April 25.