March 26, 2001
I understand that you are looking for ideas for the high school
proposal. I had sent Julio an e-mail regarding this idea back in
February but I will try to expound on it further.
If we could look at making East and Denfeld both 10-12 high schools with six period days, we could handle the present high school population with
a higher degree of safety and security. With alternative educational sites located at the high schools, Unity and/or Level four classrooms
could be emcompassed within the high schools to serve our population needs better. Presently, we cannot get our students enrolled into
Unity. When these alternative kids can be addressed quickly and have their needs met in a contained environment, the sooner we can transition
and retain them back into their own high school setting. This would save major dollars without a separate administrative office with counselors,
social workers and staffing already on campus. Ninth graders do not have open campus but we have no way of monitoring that presently. For
the most part, they also do not do well socially with the unstructured setting provided for upper classmen.
Central could become a ninth grade high school designed to meet ninth grade programming needs and grad rule requirements. With STC's
proximity to Central and a guided, focused hands on curriculum for ninth graders, we would give these kids more opportunities for success
to transition into a high school format. If room allows,(900 or 1000 total ninth graders) I would also recommend an additional middle school
be located at Central as well Why? With the staff for a middle school and ninth graders, one administrative team could serve both. I believe
that the public would buy into this because it would still be Central (Junior) High School and keep Central's identity.
As for participation in athletics, ninth graders would still have access
to their home school either East or Denfeld. However, they would have
the facilities at Central to use and the high schools could share
Major cost savings would be achieved by closing one high school and the alternative setting of Unity. Boundaries could be achieved of the east
and west corridors using Mesaba Avenue or Lake Avenue as the dividing line. Middle schools could be Morgan Park, Central and Ordean.
Elementary schools could remain neighborhood schools with certain ones closing because of their population declining or building size not able
to accomodate the grade configuration. Woodland could become an elementary to include both Chester Park Lab School (keeping the UMD
grant and affiliation) and Lester Park/Rockridge.
In essence, we could offer quality programming, streamline services,
ensure safer environments, and save major costs of running our schools. I'll await your feedback and welcome any suggestions for revision.
Thank you for all your hard work and time throughout this process. You have gained the admiration and restored the respect of many who
appreciate your willingness to listen and respond.