MARCO ISLAND — The Marco High School Initiative held a meeting Saturday, March 21. The initial timeline was set for the new school. The plan is to complete the application in Aug. 2010 and open the school in Aug. 2011.
There were a number of new faces at the meeting Saturday, which members said was very encouraging. Marco High School Initiative members have been hoping that as we progress, we will continue to have more volunteers come forward to help. It looks as if this is exactly what is happening.
We asked the new volunteers to get involved by writing to the Collier County School Board and Marco Island City Council about their desire to have a high school on Marco. We also gave out more petitions and requested that the volunteers gather signatures to show support for the effort. Anyone who is in support of the high school can visit Marcohigh.com and register as a volunteer or sign the online petition. The Web site also states our mission as well as addressing the most frequently asked questions. A few of them are listed below:
A. What about Lely? This is not about Lely. It is about providing parents an option for an exemplary school on the island. It is all about choice. Parents can still send their children to Lely if they choose.
B. Won’t building a new high school raise taxes? No, a new high school will NOT increase taxes. When MICMS was built it did not affect taxes. There is no reason this would be any different. We plan to leverage state and federal funds.
C. Is Marco big enough for a HS? Absolutely! In fact there are many advantages to a smaller school. Studies have shown that a close teacher/student relationship has a direct correlation with increased academic success. There are also lower rates of crime with small schools.
D. How would a high school on Marco be different? Marco is a unique community with a rich retirement pool of professionals who could participate in the education of the children.
E. How would a high school benefit the community? A high school on the island would complete the vision for a community on Marco Island. It would attract families to the island. It has also been proven that communities with a good local school system have higher property values.
F. Why not send your child to one of the available high schools? The commute to the nearest high school is 1.5-3 hours round trip. This is dangerous and time consuming. We would like to utilize the students time better.
G. How would a high school on the island benefit the students? Currently, the Marco students are being forced apart at the high school level as the students are selecting from a variety of high schools. We want to reinforce the strong peer bonds that have been established at TBE and MICMS.
Tara Hagan, who is the head of the Political Committee for the Marco High School Initiative requested that volunteers get involved by attending City Council meetings and CCSB meetings. She also discussed some of the positive feedback the group has received from state and local representatives. She encouraged people to notify her via the website if they are interested in helping with the Political Committee.
Mario Sanchez gave some information stating the specifics of the application process for a Charter High School. He encouraged people to offer ideas and suggestions as we begin to put together the application. Since this is a collaborative effort with the community, he is seeking input from anyone who has an interest in the school. Once again the best way to communicate is through the website www.Marcohigh.com . You can also read some of the areas being researched that are posted on the blog.