School district to host meeting to discuss school consolidation

In considering ways to deal with proposed cuts to education at the state level, the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is seeking input from Homer area families.

Along with Seward High School and Seward Middle School, the district is exploring the possibility of consolidating Homer High School and Homer Middle School, according to a press release from the district. No decisions have been made yet. District administration and school board representatives are hosting a community meeting for the Homer area to get feedback on the idea of consolidation at 6 p.m. Monday, April 15 in the Homer High School Commons. Homer High School Principal Doug Waclawski and Homer Middle School Principal Kari Dendurent will be there as well to take feedback. According to the release from the district, the high school building “has the capacity to accommodate the middle school students at this time, and this consolidation simplifies transportation issues.”

Additionally, consolidating the schools would save the district about $459,000 in operating costs each year, as well as about $10 million in deferred maintenance costs.

“Exploring the difficult concept of school consolidations or closures is a challenging task,” the release states. “However, with fiscal uncertainty at the state and borough levels, it is an act of due diligence to have the conversations in order to learn community concerns and thoughts, and share with families and staff. In that light, KPBSD is being proactive to explore a number of possibilities to meet potentially significant funding cuts in all areas of our district, including southern, central, and eastern peninsula schools.”

Parents, students and staff are encouraged to take a survey about the consolidation idea. The survey is only open until April 16. Take it at surveymonkey.com/r/2TJG85C.

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