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Two high schools better for students

Posted: February 26, 2013 - 3:53pm  |  Updated: February 27, 2013 - 9:43am

Regarding the proposed reconfiguration of Soldotna area schools:

First issue: Cost — Converting three schools costs money. This money will go to fund renovations, mascots, paint jobs, jerseys, and busing 9th graders to and from the high schools every day. This money will come from the community through taxes. Taxes which could be used more efficiently to improve our roads, parks, or offer kids more programs to inspire them into different career possibilities.

Second issue: Success — Mr. Neill, the Skyview principal, was telling me about how this new “SkyHi” school was going to offer a couple more extra curricular activities for the kids. What he is forgetting is half of all current activities will be cut. Half of the basketball team from both schools will be lost, volleyball players, football players, robotics team, band, ect. We should not be cutting kids. Sports show a direct relationship with higher grades, graduation rate, attendance, and test scores which Skyview and SoHi both excel at. By eliminating the opportunity for kids to be involved in the school, they are risking the education of our future generations. Two schools offer more involvement, more individual help, higher grades, and a variety of education to meet the kids needs. Funneling kids into one bigger school does the exact opposite. Two schools provide greater athletes and smarter kids; the statistics agree.

2008-2009 National Graduation Rate — 75.5%

2008-2009 State Graduation Rate — 72.6%

2011-2012 KPBSD Graduation Rate — 79.18%

2011-2012 Skyview Graduation Rate — 90.10%

2011-2012 SoHi Graduation Rate — 91.82%

(Sources: http://nces.ed.gov/programs/coe/pdf/coe_scr.pdf, http://education.alaska.gov/reportcardtothepublic/)

I believe the Soldotna Middle School does need help. They have too many kids. Changes do need to be made to fix this but many solutions have been overlooked by this community. This reconfiguration will put Soldotna on the wrong path to educating our kids. Go to http://www.Facebook.com/SaveSkyview for more.

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Save Skyview
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Save Skyview 02/27/13 - 12:37 pm
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Way to Go Austin!

You are absolutely right, Austin!! I have heard comments from community members and educators who actually think combining these schools is the right thing to do, but as I stated in an earlier comment to an article, as this state is attempting to address the high drop-out rate in Alaska, we should be doing everything possible to keep kids in school. Studies have proven that one of the main things that keeps kids in school is their ability to participate in extra-curricular activities and sports. Combining these schools will be detrimental to kids' abilities to participate in sports.

Also, I personally feel that if the Borough moves forward with this mistake, the entire faculty, particularly the administration, at SoHi should be required to resign and reapply for their jobs. The current "vibe" that trickles down in that building in unappealing and is the reason most of those kids chose Skyview in the first place.

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