To the editor:
At recent community discussions regarding the budget shortfalls anticipated in the Kodiak Island Borough School District, it was proposed that the district close an elementary school as a way of meeting reduced funding for fiscal year 2012-2013.
Specifically, the idea of closing Main Elementary was mentioned, with several points as to the rationale. The next day it was the headline of the Kodiak Daily Mirror that Main Elementary could close. Our community of parents, students, faculty and staff at Main Elementary are very concerned to hear such news, and many of us PTO parents have spent the past weeks attending meetings trying to fully understand the issues, the budget and how we can best advocate for our children and our community.
An additional level of stress has been felt when we talk to parents at other schools and realize that they feel the idea of closing Main would not affect them or their kids. This is not a case of not in my backyard. As parents of school-aged children, we need to work together to understand that closing any one elementary school could potentially impact every K-5 classroom in town.
It has been mentioned in meetings that the entire town would need to be redistricted to manage bus schedules. If your child currently attends one elementary school, there is a possibility that they could attend a different one next year. Main has 220 students, and those students would be merging into already full classrooms. If you are concerned about your child being in a class next year with a high number of students, then you have just understood that closing any one elementary school affects all students. Get involved if you are concerned.
Alan Austerman will be in town this week holding an education open house. It will be at the Kodiak High School commons on Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m.