Finally, I find a school board member who will address the future. Thank you Harry for being proactive and forward looking. I personally believe going to two high schools is the best idea. I would like to point out that Wayzata decided a few years ago to keep only one high school in the district rather than going to Wayzata East and West. It was determined that they could offer much more in advanced education in a more economical manner by keeping a larger high school than two smaller ones. To them smaller high school, which were also economically ineffecient was between 1800 to 2000 students. Also they did not want to get into the political battle of dividing the district. Also Edina went to two high schools and then turned around a few years later to go back to one large high school. All this was done because the parents were concerned about the quality of education their children were receiving. In large high schools they are able to offer more options in foreign language, mathmatics, sciences, arts, music, as well as general liberal arts education. I believe the school board will be wise to look at the two high school proposal now or we will have to revisit it in five to ten years.
Furthermore, I believe this proposal moves away from neighborhood schools and it appears that the school board has not examined carefully enough the impact of not having neighborhood elementary schools. It seems that the school board is ignoring the most important element of educating elementary age children; their emotiojal stability. More so than at any other age the ability of the elementary children is based on their sense of comfortableness in the environment. That is why having a teacher who is culturally sensitive to child's worldview and environment is critical in the child's development. That is why the movement to the neighborhood schools is supported by people from every type of neighborhoods.The closing of elementary schools while keeping the high schools open seems to be a plan of well meaning, but misguided racists. Simply bussing the "poor minority" kids to "better white schools" will not solve the problem. It will only harm the children permanently and guarntee that there will be second class citizens who will be availble to work for minimum wage in our area. This plan to close so many elementary schools must be looked at again.
I hope you can talk some sense into other board members soon. Sincerely,