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.