School is crowded

Letter to the editor

Posted: Thursday, May 20, 2004

We are the parents of two children who were born in Juneau and who have had the good fortune to be educated in the Juneau public school system. We have been impressed and gratified with the commitment of teachers, administrators, support staff, and the entire community to providing a quality educational environment. However, despite the best efforts of educators, the 30 percent-plus dropout rate at Juneau-Douglas High School is a clear indicator that too many students do not feel welcome or comfortable at the high school.

We feel strongly that trying to crowd 1,700 kids into a school with a design capacity for less than 1,200 has been a major factor contributing to the unacceptable dropout rate. The research is clear: Smaller schools provide a better learning environment and do a better job at keeping kids in school. Two smaller high schools will increase the opportunities for students to connect with teachers and staff as role models and mentors, and provide more opportunities for kids to participate in the full range of school activities. We cannot afford to wait before taking action until some future time when JDHS is even more crowded. The future is here, we need the second high school now. Please vote no on Proposition 1 on May 25.

Alex and Peggy Wertheimer


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