Unified School District 490, El Dorado Public Schools, serves students and families throughout 128 square miles in the city of El Dorado and the surrounding rural area of Butler County with a comprehensive educational program including vocal music, band, orchestra, fine arts, physical education, art, foreign language, and technology. The district has been recognized nationally for excellence in technology and takes pride in providing tools that support equity for educational access.
Students attend one of three elementary schools, a middle school serving grades 6-8, and El Dorado High School, a 4A school serving students in grades 9-12. Pre-K students are served through a State Four-Year Old Preschool grant and Early Childhood Special Education. The district also sponsors a Parents As Teachers program through a state grant providing parenting education and support from Birth through School Age. The district has provided free all-day kindergarten for twelve years. The high school provides alternative and virtual programs for students who experience success in non-traditional settings or for those who need to recover credits in order to stay on track for graduation at an off-site campus located in the District Performing Arts Center. A drop-out recovery program for adults is provided through partnership with ORION Service Center. In addition, the district is a member of the Butler County Special Education Cooperative, serving students in all nine Butler County school districts. A free district shuttle bus system ensures the safety of students required to cross two highways intersecting the city and is also supplemented by an activity route shuttle to better support student engagement in after-school extracurricular activities. A full-range of summer programs is provided including driver’s education, exploratory summer camp for grades K-5, course completion and credit recovery. Each program is supported by free transportation and access to other community support services such as the YMCA and City Recreation programs. The remainder of the summer the district supports a partnership with Kids Need 2 Eat, a non-profit organization that provides free summer meals.
The Board of Education has developed a comprehensive strategic plan with goals in Student Achievement, Staff Retention & Recruitment, School Climate, Communication, and Infrastructure. As a result of this planning over the course of three strategic cycles, three new facilities were opened in the fall of 2018 finalizing a goal to improve every educational facility in the district to better meet student learning needs. The capstone project, renovation of the Historic 1937 El Dorado High School/Middle School, celebrates a century of public education and a district area of excellence, the performing arts.
Community support enhances district services through a number of initiatives: