Hello Mr. Welty,
Thank you for all your extra time spent recently with school issues! You are appreciated. 

I am confused and concerned about the addition to the proposal of a 2 high school system at this point of planning for next year. I get the impression that this might happen next year and feel this is moving waaaaaay too fast. A 2 high school long range plan would be okay, because we could plan and tell our kids, "In 2007 you will be going to the 'new' high school" etc. 

The idea that closing a high school is "better" then closing a grade school is debatable. High schoolers are strongly attached to their school, especially if they have planned for years to be a Trojan or Greyhound etc. It is the same issue as elementary schools closing except on a much bigger scale. School and sports, drama, cheerleading is their life and if it is pulled from under them in a single budget cutting sweep, the ramifications will go on and on. MANY will leave the district. But if this must be accomplished in a long range plan, it will be much more palatable.

I am confused by the process occurring. Will the community have input on the other proposals? The only boundary proposals were with plan A. Is there time to involve the community on any other plans? Can another plan be brought up like you didfor two hgih schools? For example MANY people keep asking, why can't CAB close and move into empty space? With Central losing their 7&8 grades wouldn't there be lots of room for most of the CAB staff in Central? Couldn't Unity be located at Central or Denfeld as space permits. I believe old Merritt is still in district hands. Perhaps that could be utilized for offices. 

I hope this can be addressed before a high school is closed. Other 
unanswered questions relate to athletics and their budget cuts, all day 
kindergarten and holding off on text book and computer purchases.

I have heard so many different versions of the 6 hour day. Is it true that 
the kids would have less actual time in the school (learning time)? With teachers involved 5 out of 6 possible hours, educational assistants will be needed to cover lunches and study halls and do the their 6th assignments. Has this been included in the cost savings? 

What alarms me is that I am a very involved parent and I work for the 
district. I am confused and the district employees I talk with often do not have answers either. If I feel lost, what about the average parent or 
community member? There must be a way to make some money saving plans in a step-by-step method that is logical and considerate to the stakeholders. 

Thank you so much for reading this. J W

My Reply


I'm afraid there is no good way to be considerate of the public when we're forced to make $4.8 million in cuts in a single year.

My two high school idea is based on the idea that we are long overdue for a two high school system. If we closed a high school now it could spare us having to close so many elementary schools. It is as simple as that. Of course, as Ross Perot said the devil will be in the details and I have no idea if my fellow board members will go along with my proposal.

Wish us well tonight.