Soldotna and Skyview high schools, facing declining enrollments, will be combined into one school for grades 10 to 12 by at least fall 2015 under a plan adopted this week by the Kenai Peninsula Borough Board of Education. Configuration of schools for grades 7 through 9 remains to be worked out, according to The Redoubt Reporter.
What was determined Monday is board support for the idea that combining Skyview and SoHi’s 10th through 12th grades into one school is a way to provide diverse course offerings and other opportunities jeopardized by the continuing trend of declining enrollment in the schools.
“The reason we’re doing this is because the opportunities it creates for kids in having a unified high school, and we can’t forget that. And the sooner we can get to that, I think, the better it’s going to be,” said board member Tim Navarre.
According to the district, enrollment at both Skyview and SoHi in the 2006-07 school year was 1,051 students. It’s projected to drop to 815 in the 2013-14 school year and to 766 by 2016-17. But the decline isn’t evenly distributed, with 150 to 160 incoming freshmen expected at SoHi and just 50 at Skyview.
The Peninsula Clarion reports that one board member and community members at the meeting are worried that the district enrollment forecasts are unreliable.
“I’m not opposed to evaluating the concept and, if it can be done cost efficiently and we don’t give up a lot, I’m not opposed to that,” [board member Marty] Anderson said. “I believe in this case we haven’t considered all of the factors involved yet. I believe we need to talk to more industry and find out what’s the (population) going to look like in three to five years instead of looking back in three to five years and saying that we’re going to have to reconfigure again.”
Soldotna area plan for school reconfiguration moves ahead (Peninsula Clarion)
New view on Soldotna high schools — board votes to consolidate, reconfigure (The Redoubt Reporter)