Archive for Thursday, February 7, 2008

Mill Valley staff provided board great service

February 7, 2008

The staff at Mill Valley High School presented the De Soto USD 232 Board of Education a plan that will provide room at the school for the extra student population expected to be enrolled next school year. The plan, if approved, will allow the district to forego placing students in Monticello Trails Middle School, which would in turn force another round of boundary changes on the east side as the district scrambled to find room for displaced middle school students.

It is interesting the Mill Valley High School staff crafted the plan, but that shouldn't be surprising. Those teachers and administrators know the building better than all others in the district and were obviously aware of proposed changes to classroom configurations. The plan, Mill Valley Principal Joe Novak said, was a result of empowering the staff to seek a solution.

The neighborhoods in west Shawnee are growing in what was pastures and fields less than a decade ago. It would seem anyone moving to such an area would understand much was in flux as the surrounding landscape continually evolved. But with the discord that has greeted the last two school boundary considerations and bond elections, one senses the residents of west Shawnee are yearning for stability, particularly in regards to their children.

If so, the board has reasons to be grateful for the staff's work. It spares them for at least a year the wrath of parents forced to send students to different or more distant schools. It also will create goodwill from parents on that side of the district as board members put forward a third attempt at a bond issue to address growth. The solution likely will be put before voters either during the August primary or November general election.

If the board can honestly sell that as a stability plan for west Shawnee, that bond's chances will be greatly improved.

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