Letter: All 833 schools are good
Our school district, ISD 833, comprising of the four communities of Newport, St. Paul Park, Cottage Grove and Woodbury, has entered into the unique position of building a third high school. Although an exciting time for our district, it does not come without challenges to all those involved. As a growing district, we have been very fortunate that our residents have supported both operating and building referendums. As new buildings are added, boundary attendance lines must be redrawn. While we may not embrace all proposals, we must remember we are one district with many talented and driven educators in each and every building. Staff members cross those boundary lines each day working in one building in one community to working in a different building in yet another community. As proactive parents partnering with educators in the district, we need to keep an open mind and not disregard boundary proposals that mirror the movement of the educators. When Cottage Grove Junior High was built, given our close proximity to that building, my assumption was that my children would be within that attendance line. I was shocked to find that they would be attending Oltman Junior High in St. Paul Park, which is significantly farther away. While the drive there for before- and after-school activities has not always been convenient, we have adapted and made it work. A well-rounded and successful student is not only developed from academics and extra-curricular activities, but from the socialization he is exposed to outside his immediate surroundings. My children have been involved in activities and created relationships that may not have existed had they been in a different building with those they already knew. East Ridge High School will include students from all areas of our district that will cross neighborhood and community boundary lines, and our grade schools and middle schools will need to continue to do that, as they have in the past. Our children are more adaptable and resilient than we acknowledge. Regardless of which building they will attend, positive support of our children from parents and community members alike will be the key to ensure our kids a successful future in our district.