What started as a one-room school building back in 1887, has become a school system known for its academic excellence. Accredited as recently as 2006, Carl Junction is recognized as one of the outstanding school districts in the growing southwest Missouri area. Beginning in 1961, small schools consolidated and the district centralized its campus near the heart of Carl Junction. Today it serves a 129 square mile area and educates over 3,250 students on a daily basis. As the largest employer in town, the school has 450 staff including 270 certified teachers. Its annual budget of $27.5 million supports per pupil spending of $6,121 per year which is raised through local taxes (55%), state revenues (39%) and federal dollars (9%).
Carl Junction school facilities are a showcase of community pride and support. The community has continuously supported the schools through numerous building projects to reduce class sizes and add more teachers and classroom space as needed. The district constructed a performing arts center in 1998, a new high school in 2000, added classrooms and a media center onto the junior high school in 2004. In 2008, a new 32 classroom junior high was built, an 8 classroom high school was added, as well as an 18,000 sq ft elementary playground with a turf football field that can be used daily by thousands of children. Today, the campus includes two pre-kindergarten to 1st grade buildings, a 2nd-3rd grade building, a 4th grade center, a 5th-6th grade building, a junior high for grades 7-8, and a four-year high school. This district also supports an alternative high school in downtown Carl Junction to provide a non-traditional learning environment and a satellite school, in partnership with the Ozark Center, located in southern Jasper County.
Carl Junction schools have continued to be on the cutting edge of innovation curriculum to improve student achievement. Through their partnership with the Southwest Center for Academic Excellence, they are initiating new math, technology and science education through inquiry-based learning to better prepare their students for a future after high school.
Even though it's known for its small-town atmosphere, Carl Junction's students have competed on the national level in such activities as science fair, National History Day, Destination Imagination, Future Business Leaders of America and Future Farmers of America. Students are encouraged to participate in 100+ extracurricular activities offered for all ages. These activities range from family library nights, athletic teams in thirteen sports, Community Problem Solvers, Talespinners, student council, A+ tutoring, band, choir, thespians, building trades, and many more.
Carl Junction R-1 Schools are a mirror of the community and continually work to build leaders of the future. The school district works closely with community members to carry out an ongoing school improvement plan. This partnership will assure that Carl Junction schools continue to be what everyone has come to expect, one of the top school districts in the region.
Carl Junction High School offers its students opportunities to participate in over 13 different sports for both boys and girls. Most sports have three levels of competition including freshman, junior varsity and varsity. Over 250 students compete in athletics each year, with many participating in more than one sports. Since moving into the new high school in 2000, the athletic facilities are some of the finest in the area. The basketball field house has seating for 2,400 fans and includes a wrestling practice facility and a state of the art weight room. The football stadium was completed in 2003 and includes seating for 2,000 fans and has an eight lane track.