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Certainly, youth and adult activities at the Y are nothing new to the immediate Y neighborhood. Countless families, viewing proximity to a school and/or recreational facility as a real plus, have made it a priority to live close to the already zoned 'kid friendly' TBE, MICMS, and Y complexes. The addition of sporting events and other high school related programs such as music concerts, theatre programs, chorus performances, art shows, and mentoring programs along with the inclusion of a Renaissance Academy will expand the recreational, educational and entertainment opportunities exponentially for those who have already deemed proximity to the Y facility as a real plus. Additionally, the MI Academy is scheduled to be in session from 9:00 AM to 3:45 PM out of consideration. (Imagine the improved quality of a student's life over those currently having to be at a bus stop at 6:30 AM to spend two hours of their day going to and from school.) Since only Seniors and students from off the island will have parking privileges, most students will walk, ride bicycles or take public transportation. Given the timing and managed volume of cars, local traffic should not be adversely affected. As for sports . . . The many athletes from the island who have gone on to win state contests, athletic scholarships, etc. are testament to our island’s potential to do well in sports. Undeniably, a school of 2,000 has the same number of players on a team as a school of 400. Academy students will not only have a greater chance of playing on a team, they will have an added benefit in some sports of team members having participated together on Eagle teams sponsored by the Optimist Club. Add to this, the professional sports champions/coaches/trainers/managers (not to mention retired high school coachers) on the island from the NFL, the NBA, baseball, hockey and it becomes easy to envision a successful sports program which includes the greatest number of island students possible with a desire to play. Ultimately, the bottom line is individuals, upon comparing their zoned school and the public charter high school, will be able to determine their own ’best fit’ as to both their high school and their sports program. (They may actually attend the Academy and play for their zoned school team.) School choice is just one of the countless benefits of the Marco Island Academy.
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