With the reconfiguration of Skyview and Soldotna High Schools on tap for August of 2015, many students have begun to take action to help make the combination a smoother process.
The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District School Board approved the reconfiguration of three Soldotna area secondary schools last spring. Tenth- through twelvth-grade students will be housed at SoHi.
The 2013-2014 student councils administrators and students for both schools decided in the summer to combine forces and meet jointly during the school year.
Lana Syverson, SoHi U.S. History teacher and activities director, said the idea to combine the meetings came from discussions she had with Skyview teacher and activity director, Karen Hamlow.
“The idea was also discussed this summer during the administrators’ planning meetings that were held about school reconfiguration,” Syverson said. “The reason is to help begin in the process of helping our students work together to help the transition process. It also helps our students to become familiar with each other and exchange ideas for activities.”
Hamlow said the students wanted to start meeting and each of them wants to keep meeting regularly.
“At our summer barbecue, the students surprised me when they said they want to meet regularly. They see the importance of coming together as leaders first and then bringing the student body along after the start of the new calendar year,” she said.
Syverson and Hamlow said the purpose and function of the student council is to stimulate student interest in activities, as well as to promote and develop school spirit; to strengthen relations with neighboring schools, to act as a barometer of student opinion, to propose special days as well as present better channels for carrying out class activities sanctioned by the student body through its representatives.
One of the first items on the council’s list was to combine the dances held during this school year. Students from SoHi and Skyview will be able to attend the other school’s dances freely, although students from other schools in the district will have to obtain a note from their principal to attend the joint dances.
Aside from each school’s homecoming and prom dances, the two schools will alternate four joint dances, including a Halloween dance, two winter ball’s and a spring fling dance.
Annie Quinn, a SoHi freshman and council member, said one big reason the council chose to have joint dances this year was to bring the student body together for next year’s big change.
“We are all trying to become one,” Quinn said.
Quinn said she believes that the reconfiguration of the schools is a positive move.
“I think it is good. I think having one high school will be better,” she said. “With more students we can get more classes and better sports teams.”
Quinn said the reconfiguration will give former middle school students separated by different schools a chance to create a closer student body.
“I am excited to be reuniting with my friends,” she said
This is Quinn’s third year on student council; she was also a member of the Soldotna Middle School council.
“I like knowing what’s going on in my school and in the public,” she said.
She said having the two councils meet is important so both schools can share their opinions about the goings-on of the reconfiguration. She said sharing student council meetings also helps create friendships with those at the other school.
The first joint student body meeting was held at Skyview on Aug. 10. The next meeting is planned for October, with a date and time still to be determined, Syverson said.
“Current plans are to try and meet on a monthly basis to work together on dances and projects such as the canned food drive,” she said.
On Tuesday, the councils will travel to Seward together, to attend the KPBSD District Level Student Council Annual Meeting.
Sara J. Hardan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org