The school is planned to accomodate 3,500 students which will provide plenty of space for next 50 years. The school is also scalable to accomodate varying class sizes. Although enrollment has increased over the years the huge swell now in elementary is somewhat of an anomally. If we build another high school to accomodate those classes (or 4 more if the max of 600 is the goal as mentioned above) and sizes return to "normal" we'll be stuck with either empty buildings or underutilized buildings with excessive operating costs. Moreover, education is evolving in a way that allows for more flexibility in teaching so there will be a greater percentage of students who learn away from campus or at varying hours so the constraings of building dimensions will be lessened.
It seems that many who oppose the new high school are simply afraid of change. They are in favor of building new schools when overcrowding becomes an issue because that's what they've seen before. I commend those who had the thought to implement a better way of education. Is it perfect? Absolutely not. Nothing will be when designed for 3,000 people. Is it better than the current product? I believe so based on personal experience, presentations from people a lot smarter than me relative to education, and third party research. Also, I'm a conservative (lean pretty far right, actually) and recognize this proposal will have the smallest impact on my tax dollars.
My rationale probably doesn't resonate with many on this thread. I also can't comprehend spending twice as much for an inferior product so we can agree to disagree. You're not going to be swayed and are probably trying to think of ways to shoot holes in my counterpoints. That's okay, I'm not concerned about your votes but rather the negativity being spread. Hopefully some of the people who read this and don't post will agree the positive aspects outweight the negative and vote yes.
Thanks for your thoughts but you're attempting to narrow the focus so much that exact comparisons can't be made. Being within state borders is not vitally important for comparison's sake. There is a geographically close academy style public school just south of the Missouri border, Bentonville High School, which graduates students at a higher rate than we do and is ranked among the top high schools in the nation by Newsweek. Here are some metrics to consider when comparing our communities and their schools:
Bentonville population: 35,301 (2010 census) 36,295 (2011 estimate)
Bentonville HS (9-12) current enrollment: 3,801
Jefferson City population: 43,079 (2010 census)
Simonsen & JCHS 2012 enrollment: 2,613
As a graduate of a school of 2,200 students (which I assume is the traditional educational model where all students are taught in the same manner, share classrooms, and are hearded around - like we do now) looking for a smaller educational atmosphere a community of 300-350 students vs. 1,100 should be more appealing. Especially considering the 1,100 student option would cost twice as much.
Just type small learning academies into Wikipedia and you'll have a list of other school districts. Start your research on their outcomes there.
And, there is a tremendous amount of information about the academies, aka Career Clusters from DESE.
As a graduate of JCHS I wish these academies would have been in place and I'd have had room to breathe. The academy model works and the school is overcrowded so we clearly need to do something. Personally, I'd much rather have seven intimate learning communities on one campus instead of two schools which are still big and ignore the economies of scale relative to common space, necessary services, course offerings, athletic facilities, and expanded extracurricular offerings.
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Which banks made off like bandits and how did the bankers set the tone?
It seems to me that if the school goes out and starts advertising they are looking for land the effects of supply and demand will take hold and prices would skyrocket. Isn't that what happened to Blair Oaks a few years ago?
Surely you can't be serious about "real parents" and referring to these two as flunkies.
Dr. Nickelson has a wall full of degrees, currently teaches at the university level, and was a tremendous high school teacher. In fact, I had him for two classes in high school and will state he was among the best I've had at any level. He has two extremely intelligent and hard working children and has spent years devoting an outrageous amount of work to making the JC school district all it can be. This effort has been replicated in many volunteer capacities as well according to the facts presented in the article. If this is an example of a flunky I'd hate to know what the rest of us are.
Mr. Whithead is the consummate "real parent" having a child in the district, one that graduated, and a wife who teaches. Moreover, he has attained recognition on the national level for his work on the school board. Based on accomplishments and statements made within the article it would be very hard to classify him as a flunky.
Your argument about the "old money" of Jefferson City influencing these two is absurd. As it states in the article, Dr. Nickelson teaches in Fulton and Mr. Whitehead works for the National BioDiesel Board. Neither of those positions are influenced by decisions made by business owners in Jefferson City.
Please read the article and think critically before casting stones and sentences without punctuation.
The suggestion to combine a Parks & Rec building with a conference center does not make logistical sense. My assumption is a multipurpose building would be used for things like basketball games. So what happens to those games when a conference wants to book the building? How many conferences have bleachers around the floor? On the surface it seems like a great idea. When some serious thought is given to the concept it becomes logistically ineffective.
First off, the airports are not comparable. Columbia is a regional commercial airport with flights to hubs to take you anywhere in the world. JC is a commuter airport for personal and corporate flights serving individuals, not the masses. Completely different purposes.
Secondly, the money isn't exactly being spent but rather parked in an escrow account to attract additional airlines. Additional airlines bring access to more hubs (think Chicago, Dallas, Denver, etc.) It is common for airlines to request an escrow fund for a set time frame - usually two or three years - to cover any losses they may endure while testing the market. Any money not used at the end of the time is returned to those that invested in the fund. It is rare that any funds are ever paid out to the airlines as they typically start generating profits very quickly.
I'm with you on advancing Jefferson City and Cole County and see this as a great way to accomplish that. We'll have greater access to commercial airlines and the rest of the world will have greater access to us.
Thanks for your post asb. My wife and I will be downtown along with our young son for the festivities. I'm especially looking forward to the LU drumline I've heard will be there as they always put on a great show. Saturday morning I'll get up and exercise before doing some yardwork and then watch the Mizzou game in the evening. Sunday we'll get up and go to church followed by a nice family breakfast. But first comes Friday night and my wife and I (along with a handful of other similar families) will have a beer or two downtown while enjoying the festivities so many people have worked hard to make available to us.
If that lifestyle offends anyone you have my apologies for being the scourge of society you wish to erradicate. Hopefully you'll switch your focus to the big picture and stop being such terds about drinking in public.
Thank you for addressing the criticism of the festival districts. My wife and I took our 2 year old downtown last Thursday, had a little something to eat, she had one beer, I had two, and we bought some waters. Along with a couple thousand of our closest friends, we spent over two hours enjoying the music, atmosphere, and local shops. Obviously we were far from wasted but still very satisfied. We love that Jefferson City can have an entertainment enviornment that is neither too uptight for us to enjoy or too raucous for us to bring our little one. Many thanks to the people behind Thursday Night Live!
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