The defeat of the school bond issue and levy was really not a surprise. Yes, not many of us like to see our taxes raised during difficult economic times. However, there was an over-riding feeling that patrons did not want to continue with a single large high school. I sincerely hope that the Board of Education and staff will begin discussions and planning for a second high school and also for appropriate upgrades to the existing high school.
I was serving as a principal in the Raytown School District when Raytown South was opened in 1961 and the old high school was later remodeled for continued use. In 1971 I was serving as an administrator in the Springfield School District and helped open Kickapoo High School. The very old Central High School is still being used. Over the years the other schools, Hillcrest, Parkview and Glendale have had remodeling and additions to them. Parkview has a good football stadium that all the high schools use and through the years the other high schools have added appropriate seating and areas for tennis, soccer, track and field. Columbia has kept Hickman High School even as they now build their third high school.
Research shows that a good size for a high school is around 1,000 students. I have a grandson that attends St. Charles West High School that has just under 1,000 students, and the much older St. Charles High School has about 1,000 students.
I also have a granddaughter that attends Parkway West High School that has around 1,000 students. Her father is a graduate of JC as are my other three children. I wish they could have attended a smaller school but they received excellent instruction by the staff and were well prepared for college. There are many small schools in our state that do a good job of educating their students and that also provide the opportunity for many to participate in extracurricular activities.
Again, I believe the community will respond to an appropriate proposal to build a second high school, remodel and upgrade the existing high school, and explore ways to best provide instruction to serve all the students.