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Reconfiguration recommendations presented to school board

Posted: November 4, 2013 - 10:12pm
Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion  Andrea Eggleston, art teacher at Soldotna Middle School asks the Kenai Peninsula Board of Education on Monday Nov. 4, 2013 to consider allowing the school to retain its colors during the upcoming reorganizatin of schools during which the middle school will move to the current Skyview High School Campus during the board of education meeting in Soldotna, Alaska. Eggleston and a student from Skyview were the only two to testify during the unscheduled public comment portion of the board meeting though the reorganization has been a hot topic of conversation during the previous year.
Photo by Rashah McChesney/Peninsula Clarion Andrea Eggleston, art teacher at Soldotna Middle School asks the Kenai Peninsula Board of Education on Monday Nov. 4, 2013 to consider allowing the school to retain its colors during the upcoming reorganizatin of schools during which the middle school will move to the current Skyview High School Campus during the board of education meeting in Soldotna, Alaska. Eggleston and a student from Skyview were the only two to testify during the unscheduled public comment portion of the board meeting though the reorganization has been a hot topic of conversation during the previous year.

Doug Hayman and members of the Soldotna Schools Reconfiguration Advisory Committee presented their findings and recommendations to the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District School Board of Education during a work session Monday afternoon.

Hayman said he has spent a lot of time talking to the students at both Soldotna area high schools about the reconfiguration that will take place at the beginning of the 2014 school year.

“To oversimplify it, the kids are ready to move on,” he said.

The 14-person advisory committee held four meetings, in September and October, to discuss recommendations about the cultural and historic issues, including school colors, names and mascots.

The reconfiguration of three Soldotna area secondary schools was approved by the board last spring. Effective in August of 2014, three schools will house area students.

■ Soldotna area 10th through 12th grades will be located at the current Soldotna High School campus.

■ Soldonta area ninth-grade students, as well as River City Academy students, will be housed at the current Soldotna Middle School.

■ Soldotna area seventh- and eighth-grade students will be moved to the current Skyview High School.

During the process, the committee worked together and discussed the topics set before them.

The group came to a consensus on the recommendation of naming the middle school Skyview Middle School, as well as naming the ninth-grade house Soldotna Preparatory.

School colors the committee recommended were a combined pallet of blue, purple, silver and black.

The committee recommended that the Panthers be the middle school mascot, and the Stars the mascot of the ninth-grade house as well as the 10th- through 12th-grade high school.

Another recommendation the group made was to allow the student councils to have rein over the cultural and historic items, with advisement from school administrators.

One hot topic was the name of the high school. The two ideas the committee brought to the board were keeping Soldotna High School, or changing the name slightly to Soldotna Central High School.

Also brought to the attention of the committee at the Oct. 21 meeting was the concern of those at Soldotna Middle School who wrote in a letter that all of the school’s cultural aspects, dating back 43 years, including colors and mascots, had been essentially eliminated.

The board will discuss the committee’s recommendations at its December board meeting.

Reach Sara J. Hardan at sara.hardan@peninsulaclarion.com.

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