Marco YMCA, high school venture to share land

— Marco Island’s YMCA campus may become the site of the newly conceived public charter high school.

In an announcement on Saturday evening at Marco Island Academy’s kickoff fundraiser, Jane Watt, president of the Academy’s board and its 501(c)3 fundraising arm – the Marco Island Discovery Center, revealed the two entities had formed a partnership through a Memorandum of Understanding.

“The school will share land with the YMCA,” Watt said, “to provide a state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly educational and recreational facility that will remain for future generations.”

At the event, board members of the Y and Academy praised the partnership as a good fit for both organizations.

“The Y has been actively seeking ways to provide for sustainability and longevity,” said Ashley Lupo, chairwoman of the Marco Y’s Strategic Planning Committee.

Cindy Love, CEO of the Marco Y, said a phone call from Watt ignited interest between the two groups. Watt originally called the Y looking for a temporary site to start Academy classes in 2011.

“When I met Cindy for the first time and we had lunch together, I knew this (partnership) could be something very special,” Watt said.

The Marco Island Family YMCA is located on the corner of San Marco and Sandhill Roads. The property is approximately 8.5 acres and currently contains tennis courts, pool, air-nasium, skate park, and a main building housing fitness and daycare facilities.

“Jane’s call came at a fortuitous time because we were actively considering a facilities collaboration; and on the surface, our missions appeared similar,” said Lupo.

In November 2009, Marco Island Academy approached the City and offered to build the high school and shared facilities in Mackle Park in exchange for land there.

At that time, the Marco Island Civic Association said it was not informed of the plan. Its deed restrictions designate Mackle Park land for recreational use only. This time, the partners made sure MICA was in the loop.

“We discussed the issue with MICA and they have been fully supportive and have confirmed that our land will support an educational facility,” said Love.

Jim O’Donnell, Y tennis player and attendee at the fundraiser, was pleased with the partnership.

“I was stunned at the announcement, but it’s a great location. I’ve been told by people who know that it will be a benefit for both (partners),” he said.

Realtor Jim Prange whose children attended Lely High School also came to the function.

“Lely is an incredible school. My two kids had good experiences there, but it will help from a real estate point of view to have our own community high school on the island,” he said.

Watt’s interest in an on-island high school started about a year ago when she attended a meeting to discuss a possible charter high school.

“We moved here from Ohio where we had all 12 grades in our community,” she said. “We wanted the same community appeal for our children.”

Bruce Davis, an Academy volunteer, agreed with Watt’s sentiment.

“Everybody has heart strings in certain places,” Davis said. “The people of Marco Island should be afforded this opportunity.”

In an e-mail blast to its members on Saturday, the Y’s Strategic Planning Committee explained what would be gained from the Memorandum of Understanding.

“The plan seeks to provide the Y with the expanded facilities needed to enhance its programs with a focus on health and fitness, adult education and expanded child care. Shared space for programs also will be available including a cafeteria/kitchen, multi-purpose room, music room and auditorium/gymnasium,” it read.

Watt explained that by combining resources, the project will have a greater chance of attracting local, state and federal funding. She noted the location will provide greater efficiencies in land, construction and development costs.

Plans to fund shared facilities could be a boon for the Y since it has been struggling to raise enough money to build an addition on its own.

The school is currently working on its grades 9-12 curriculum offering traditional core programs with college preparatory classes, an enhanced marine-sciences program, competitive sports and English as a second language courses.

As with all charter schools in Florida, enrollment is open to students throughout the county and is offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

“The school has already partnered with Florida Gulf Coast University to offer adult education and lifelong learning opportunities through it Renaissance Academy,” Watt said.

Sierra Rose, an 8th grader who now attends the Marco Island Charter Middle School, joined the event’s program by singing “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong.

“I think it would be a unique learning opportunity, convenient and close to home,” she said of the Academy.

The Marco Island Academy is hoping to open its doors in August 2011.

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Comments » 52

MrBreeze writes:

I think the concept of teaming with the YMCA is not a bad one but I think the impact on the neighborhood will be huge.

Who wants to live next door to a high school? The traffic and congestion will effect the homes quality of life but I guess the Realtor and MICA thought less to include them.

As long as there is money to be made why worry about the people of the area. I think the concept is good but the location is not.

Why not look off the island on Collier where there is ample space for such a project.

freedomofspeech1 writes:

Forget about it! This will be a very small school. Very few "serious" student athletes will choose this over 'REAL' High School

u2cane writes:

Well, if they do get a sports program then at least the doormats of collier county can get a win against the Marco school.

costarica (Inactive) writes:

This sounds like a win-win for the whole community! Parents now have another choice for their children's education, the community gets a new recreation facility and adult learning classes. Our charter middle school is excellent as I am sure the charter high school will be as well.

It will help our economy and our community! I am sure more families will choose to live on Marco Island now that they will be able to educate their children K-12 in our town.

Keep up the great work!!

dspislandhome#233683 writes:

Awesome experience to volunteer for this
fabulous endeavor. Jane Watt is an
incredible leader with vision and heart
for our community and for our children.

Marco Island residents will all benefit
from the "On Island" Charter High School. Congratulations and Go Manta
Rays!!! Debbie Servente, Mother

dspislandhome#233683 writes:

in response to costarica:

This sounds like a win-win for the whole community! Parents now have another choice for their children's education, the community gets a new recreation facility and adult learning classes. Our charter middle school is excellent as I am sure the charter high school will be as well.

It will help our economy and our community! I am sure more families will choose to live on Marco Island now that they will be able to educate their children K-12 in our town.

Keep up the great work!!

This is extremely positive for our entire
Marco Island community!

MrBreeze writes:

Marco98 Have you thought of the impact of the people who do not want to live near schools.

I am not opposed to schools, I feel that since Marco Island is already developed, adding a high school along with a YMCA is not the right fit in that area.

Now you state that more families will reside on Marco Island due to the school. That may be true but what about the folks who purchased homes near the Y and now the purposed school who wanted a more laid back lifestyle. Who is looking out for them?

Marco98, do you live near the Y and the purposed school? I would be curious to know.

kb writes:

I think it sounds like a great fit for both the Y and the Marco Island Academy. If people have concerns, I encourage them to look at the plans/details. I believe once they do, they will be excited about this opportunity for our community. I would love to live near the project. The new state of the art facility will be great for all Marco residents.

freedomofspeech1 writes:

This school will be for the parents that need to continue to "coddle" their kids right up to the last minute. All the kids that need to be near mommy will go there. Is a Marco Island University next? Why not? Our kids cant deal with the real world so lets keep them under our wing until the last moment.....

marco97 writes:

MrBreeze, I don't want to live next to a dog park but guess what. At least a school is something everyone can use or did use at one time and adds value to the community. We have land for a school but Collier County will not let Marco use it.

marcoangels writes:

Finally, Jane Watt has succeeded in bringing us what we really need! The YMCA has a gym and other sports facilities, so it is the perfect marriage! My son is going into 6th grade next year, I have always dreaded the onset of 'life after Charter School', so hopefully the school will be up and running in a year or two. For those of you not supporting this because it will decrease your property value, I live right at Winterberry Park and when I bought my lot and house, there was a quiet water company plant behind me. Now it's a major staging area! If you don't want to live near the school, move to another area of the island while prices are low, I bet you'll find a lot of parents, like myself, who would welcome living near the high school, no bussing, comvenient, etc. Hurrah for Jane!

Seawaller writes:

I'm not sure how a YMCA and high school can share facilities. "Shared space for programs also will be available including a cafeteria/kitchen, multi-purpose room, music room and auditorium/gymnasium". A high school will need full time use of these- maybe the Y could use them after midnight.

SunBum writes:

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.

33yearresident writes:

GWT-The school they are zoned for is Lely High School, a great place for kids to play sports.
Please don't mislead by saying that academy students can play sports at Lely. That privilege is reserved for Lely students and home schooled students, not private school students. Start your own teams.
And by the way, good luck. Your kids are going to need it.
Oh, and that complaint that Lely is too far? Well, then wouldn't it be too far to play sports?

MrBreeze writes:

The people who want this school are the elite.

Let's face it, the parents who want the private sheltered schooling for their kids. They also feel that their kids should be elevated over "public" school kids with less family income.

This whole charter school/private school concept sounds great, but does not always work for all kids.

This sounds like more of a "convience" for elite parents to have the school on the island rather than for the students. I am sure the school will be of the highest quality in design and operation but I still wonder about the impact on the whole island itself.

I see enough errors of the past if you look around the island, I hope this will not add to the list.

freedomofspeech1 writes:

WASTE OF TIME! SAY GOOD BYE TO THE Y AS YOU KNOW IT....THE SENIORS AND ADULTS WILL NO LONGER BE ABLE TO GO NEAR THAT AREA UNTIL LATE IN THE EVENING....THIS PARTNERSHIP WILL BE ONE SIDED AND THE Y WILL BE THE LOSER!

Ned269 writes:

The elite??? What a crock! And a waste of time? If getting my kids a decent education away from morons like you is a waste of time,so be it! and quit wasting your time with your negativity towards this worthwhile endevour.

Ned269 writes:

in response to SunBum:

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.

Very well said

4marcoisland writes:

I would encourage "33yearresident" to get his facts straight. The Marco Island Academy is a PUBLIC Charter High School....NOT a private school. The school will be open to all students regardless of ethnic and socioeconomic background. According to Florida law, the students who attend the Marco Island Academy WILL be allowed to play sports at Lely if they choose to do so. Why don't you read the Florida Statutes for Public Schools and look under the Charter regulations?
Charter schools are all about CHOICES. Currently there are no options for high school students to attend a public school on Marco. The Marco Island Academy will provide that choice. No one will be forced to go there. Just as none of the middle school students are forced to go to the Marco Island Charter Middle School. The middle school students are zoned to go to Manatee, but have the CHOICE to attend MICMS.
The Marco Island Academy and the YMCA partnership is one of the most exciting projects this island has ever seen!!!!! Thank you to all of your hard work and dedication!!!!!!!!!!!!

RayPray writes:

FUND-RAISING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1. Most people on Marco are ancient and or snowbirds. While they are wealthy, they have no kids or grand-kids in the area.

2. Most of minority that do have kids are pickup truck types, not poor but without the wealth of the oldsters to fund such a lavish school.

3. Those with kids want this school, not because their kids are particularly intellectual or academic -- most I talk to have no interest beyond partying & local sports -- but to isolate these kids from East Naples riff-raff.

4. For those pushing this school to link up with the YMCA is a win situation, since it will give this committee access to the rich fund raising resources of all the wealthy but otherwise uninterested Y members.

5. Y members will soon find themselves targets for years of ever more extravagant fund-raising demands.

MrBreeze writes:

Again, this is another step to making Marco Island a "private" island.

The people behind the school are the elite or want to be around the elite and believe this concept of charter schools is the answer.

I am not that old, and I attended public school where my zone put me in a school that was eight miles from home. It was called get the bus in the morning then I bought a car that I drove myself to school.

This concept is called "real life" where you learn how not to mouch off mom and dad the rest of your life. It teaches the basic terms of getting up and being on time to school which should turn into work habits.

The people behind the school want to continue to baby their kids in the name of "good education" but we all know that is not the case. Public school is just that public. If your kid has good values at home then it does not matter where school is located.

Marco Island is starting to resemble the tv show "lost". Ever look at the "Darma Society" on that show? It reminds me of Marco Island with the look of the 70's design. I see the island as heading that way a private all inclusive island for the elite and elite families.

Since we already have "cavedwellers" and "cronies" as catagories on the island maybee we can add "Darma's " to the list.

Ian_Curtis writes:

Charter school students are allowed to join sports teams at their home school if the charter school does not have a sports program of their own. As soon as the charter school has a sports program, they will not be able to join home school teams. FHSAA Bylaw 11.1.

marco97 writes:

MrBreeze the people who want a high school on this island are the same people who are currently using the schools on Marco and If you think these people are elitist then I know you do not have children going to school here. I suggest you go by the school at 2:45 and look at the cars in line, you will see mostly mini vans and pickup trucks, these are people who work for a living. Are there some rich people going to school here? yes but there are also kids who's family's have very little. Marco schools do not just serve Marco, there are kids from Goodland, Isles of Capri, 6 Ls farm and many other places using the school system.
I grew up in a town that had it's own school system and I walked to school from 1st grade until senior year of high school and I did experience "real life" I had to get up each morning and get my butt to school on time just like you. The only difference I left the house a little later then you and got home a little earlier because I did not need to take a bus.
So please don't generalize and say the people who want a high school on the island are elitist, it's people like me and my wife who both work hard for a living who want a high school on this island.

dspislandhome#233683 writes:

Our Island is such a fabulous community to live in and raise children and teenagers. I am so happy that a great,
public charter high school will complete
a wonderful educational experience for
our youth! We are so fortunate to be
enriched with more choices.

MarcoMom09 writes:

Just curious about one thing. The YMCA's mission is "to put Judeo-Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all." How does religion fit with the mission of a public charter school?

lauralbi1 writes:

I think it is a great idea. Has anyone checked the Deed Restrictions ??? We don't want to end up in the same mess as what happened with Mackle Park !!
Someone needs to do this if it has not been done already.
Ed Issler

capt1black writes:

Ed, you really are an idiot. This is from the story above. '“We discussed the issue with MICA and they have been fully supportive and have confirmed that our land will support an educational facility,” said Love'

4marcoisland writes:

THIS IS TO ADDRESS THE QUESTION ABOUT HOW THE ACADEMY CAN PARTNER WITH THE YMCA( A CHRISTIAN ORGANIZATION)....While the Marco Island Academy and the YMCA will share the same campus, the Academy will adhere to all state regulations for public charter schools including any statutes pertaining to religion. This is not the first time a public school and YMCA have collaborated with one another. Actually, joint-ventures of charter schools and YMCA’s around the country have proven to be very effective. A similar partnership was formed in Orlando between the Lake Nona YMCA and the Northlake Park Community School. The collaboration between a public school and a YMCA has proven to be very successful, showing tremendous advantages throughout the school and community. The Northlake Park Community School has been an A rated school ever since it has been graded by the Florida Department of Education (2000). In fact, the U. S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan visited Florida’s Lake Nona YMCA and Northlake Park Community School in July. He called the school “the model of what a 21st Century School should be.”

MrBreeze writes:

Marco97, Your post about "kids who's family's have very little". I will tell you this,people with "very little" as you put it do not reside on Marco Island and send their kids to private charter school.

I am puzzled by your post of child pickup at 2:45 at the school with cars in line. If you walked to school from grades K-12 why are the cars lined up to pick up kids from school on Marco Island? I could see maybee if it was storming, but other than that the weather should not be a factor. I walked to a bus stop every day and lived in snow, ice, and below zero ville my entire youth.

I feel the private school is a mini country club that you believe will give your kids a better education. That may be true, but I feel the island was never intended to develop this way and if the Mackel bros. were here today they would be the first to say it.

Why do you think tract K was not developed as the high school? Answer, as with the Y it just does not treat the surrounding neighbors quality of life fair. Bottom line, I am not anti-school, but everyone has to be treated equally. You just cannot come in a "buy or merge" your thinking into people's space.

Neighborhoods evolve and grow, you do not create them with funds and buildings, But you can ruin one quickly with people with money.

4marcoisland writes:

in response to MrBreeze:

Again, this is another step to making Marco Island a "private" island.

The people behind the school are the elite or want to be around the elite and believe this concept of charter schools is the answer.

I am not that old, and I attended public school where my zone put me in a school that was eight miles from home. It was called get the bus in the morning then I bought a car that I drove myself to school.

This concept is called "real life" where you learn how not to mouch off mom and dad the rest of your life. It teaches the basic terms of getting up and being on time to school which should turn into work habits.

The people behind the school want to continue to baby their kids in the name of "good education" but we all know that is not the case. Public school is just that public. If your kid has good values at home then it does not matter where school is located.

Marco Island is starting to resemble the tv show "lost". Ever look at the "Darma Society" on that show? It reminds me of Marco Island with the look of the 70's design. I see the island as heading that way a private all inclusive island for the elite and elite families.

Since we already have "cavedwellers" and "cronies" as catagories on the island maybee we can add "Darma's " to the list.

Do you actually know any of the people behind the charter school? Because I do. None of them are elitist, racist or "Darmas". Some are parents, grandparents, retired educators, retired principals, retired superintendents, college professors,and business people people who support education. In case you haven't noticed, the U.S. is in desperate need of educational reform. Our public schools are some of the best in the world up to 3rd grade. By the time our students are in high school, we are one of the worst countries in the world. Considering the amount of money we are investing in education there is no excuse for it. The world has changed and the schools need to change in order to compete globally. This has nothing to do with Lely vs. Marco or Naples vs. Marco or Public vs. Private. This is about preparing the children for college and the workplace after graduation. Instead of sitting back, complaining about it, and spreading misinformation, people are finally trying to make a difference. The Marco Island Academy is going to offer an excellent public education to prepare the kids for post secondary success. If you don't have a child, why do you care? If you do have a child, now you will have a choice. In the meantime you should think of something better to do with your time than to say mean things about people you don't even know.

4marcoisland writes:

in response to MrBreeze:

Marco97, Your post about "kids who's family's have very little". I will tell you this,people with "very little" as you put it do not reside on Marco Island and send their kids to private charter school.

I am puzzled by your post of child pickup at 2:45 at the school with cars in line. If you walked to school from grades K-12 why are the cars lined up to pick up kids from school on Marco Island? I could see maybee if it was storming, but other than that the weather should not be a factor. I walked to a bus stop every day and lived in snow, ice, and below zero ville my entire youth.

I feel the private school is a mini country club that you believe will give your kids a better education. That may be true, but I feel the island was never intended to develop this way and if the Mackel bros. were here today they would be the first to say it.

Why do you think tract K was not developed as the high school? Answer, as with the Y it just does not treat the surrounding neighbors quality of life fair. Bottom line, I am not anti-school, but everyone has to be treated equally. You just cannot come in a "buy or merge" your thinking into people's space.

Neighborhoods evolve and grow, you do not create them with funds and buildings, But you can ruin one quickly with people with money.

The Charter school is a PUBLIC school-not private. Approximately 30% of the students that attend the Marco Island Charter Middle School are from off island. Some of them are from 6L farms, and other surrounding East Naples neighborhoods. These students will ALL be welcome to attend the Marco Island Academy, it will be a PUBLIC charter high school. When is the last time you volunteered at the school or attended a program at the school? There are a number of hard working families who live on Marco. They come from all socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds.

GBR writes:

4marcoisland;
"by the time our students are in high school, we are one of the worst countries in the world."

I need to see some factual stastics on this.

;-)

MarcoMom09 writes:

I hope this all gets worked out because by the time my babies are old enough to go there (wherever it is), all the kinks will be ironed out and it will be great.

Just keep sticking with your values, the core mission, and intent of your vision and curriculum. If it is meant to be, everyone who sees that will see past the obstacles and help make it happen for the children and community of Marco Island.

And do yourself a favor, 4marcoisland, stop trying to defend yourself against ignorant, miserable people-there are plenty of them out there-it's a waste of time and energy that would be better directed elsewhere.

33yearresident writes:

4marco- get my facts straight??? You need to get your facts straight.

You state that the proposed academy is a charter school. When did the proposed Marco Academy get their charter? They don't have a charter. Why?

The county turned them down, backed up by refusal of the state to fund a charter high school on Marco. Why? Not needed.

Some day, if this group gets private funding, they might have a little private school for a small number of students whose parents do not want them to have a well rounded high school experience.

If that's what you want for your kids, keep your checkbook handy.

MrBreeze writes:

4marcoisland, who have confirmed that you are indeed a "Darma" and wish the "Darma" lifestyle.

Your examples of supporters include retired educators, principals, superintendents, college professors and business people who support education.

Friends of mine who were employed in those jobs actually enjoy the same or more income retired than when they were working, so yes I would call them "well off". People like you describe surround themselves with the "elite" and "fundraise" and socialize for the "good of education". I have seen it I know.

Next, yes I have volunteered at local "public" NON CHARTER school. I help regular "working Joe" kids so they are not left back by your elite kid with your money. What "public non charter" school do you volunteer at?

The problem with public schools are most teachers are s----- and lazy. Yes, you heard me right. I have many friends that are and were teachers that are retired. Many cannot figure out how to turn on a computer, prepare a lesson plan other than by an outline. Some have had their child become teachers and then the cycle continues. They see the lifestyle that mom or dad have, work 9 months of the year excluding days of holidays, winter break ect. Show up for 30 years get a retirement plan that is huge along with LIFETIME medical.

Your hardworking families on Marco Island I do not agree with. Does the person mowing your lawn or cleaning your pool live next door to you? I doubt it.
Would you want that person living next door to you? I doubt it. People like you "Darmas" want to say that the island is so "diverse" in "economic" backgrounds but I do not see my landscaper at the country club.

Your other statement "if you don't have a child why do you care? That is an elitist statement if I ever heard one. Truth is I am part of Marco Island as a resident and I care about the impact on my FELLOW CITIZENS which you do not care about as long as your school can proceed forward.

The "Darmas" see this as a huge chance to get what they want one stop island. Paradise confined. I to like the privacy of the island why would I have paid so much money for anything else? You people are just trying to take it to the next level then what? Marco University? A school for only the very elite.

Want that lifestyle? I don't I want to live in a friendly place with peace and quiet. You people "Darmas" want that and more.

You should move to Ava Maria. That was done right. It was developed in OPEN AREAS from scratch, and then the town will evolve around the school. Brillant planning. Tom Monanhan is a very smart man. He constructed his vision and did not bother or displace one person. I admire his thought and compassion and he used his own funds that HE earned. He did not just by off the YMCA like you are trying to do.

The problem you "Darmas" want it all. I do not believe the majority of the island want your school on the YMCA properity.

GBBUZZ writes:

MrBreeze wrote:

"The problem with public schools are most teachers are s----- and lazy. Yes, you heard me right. I have many friends that are and were teachers that are retired. Many cannot figure out how to turn on a computer, prepare a lesson plan other than by an outline. Some have had their child become teachers and then the cycle continues. They see the lifestyle that mom or dad have, work 9 months of the year excluding days of holidays, winter break ect. Show up for 30 years get a retirement plan that is huge along with LIFETIME medical."

I come from a family of teachers and we are anything but lazy and s-----. We all have advanced degrees in education, spend an average of 3 hours a day above what is required by our contract, and give back to the school and students way above what is required/expected. YOU ARE SO MISINFORMED!

We do NOT get 3 months off a year, do NOT get medical for life, and do NOT get a retirement plan that gives us more than what we made while we were teaching. Teaching is the most honorable profession in the world.

We spend hours a week creating exciting lessons that involve the use of technology such as, United Streaming, Smart Boards, Web Quests... You probably don't have a clue what any of these are or how to use them effectively!

It is individuals, such as yourself, who do everything they can to take the honor out of teaching and inspiring young men and women to succeed in life. You need to walk a mile in my shoes before you make such pompous, inflammatory, misinformed statements... GET A LIFE and with an attitude like yours, please DON'T volunteer in the schools!

4marcoisland writes:

in response to 33yearresident:

4marco- get my facts straight??? You need to get your facts straight.

You state that the proposed academy is a charter school. When did the proposed Marco Academy get their charter? They don't have a charter. Why?

The county turned them down, backed up by refusal of the state to fund a charter high school on Marco. Why? Not needed.

Some day, if this group gets private funding, they might have a little private school for a small number of students whose parents do not want them to have a well rounded high school experience.

If that's what you want for your kids, keep your checkbook handy.

The Marco Island Academy hasn't even applied for their charter yet! That will happen in Aug 2010. If they are denied by the county, it will be overturned at the state level. A charter cannot be denied based on empty seats or a county that doesn't support charter schools. Once again you are wrong.

4marcoisland writes:

in response to MrBreeze:

4marcoisland, who have confirmed that you are indeed a "Darma" and wish the "Darma" lifestyle.

Your examples of supporters include retired educators, principals, superintendents, college professors and business people who support education.

Friends of mine who were employed in those jobs actually enjoy the same or more income retired than when they were working, so yes I would call them "well off". People like you describe surround themselves with the "elite" and "fundraise" and socialize for the "good of education". I have seen it I know.

Next, yes I have volunteered at local "public" NON CHARTER school. I help regular "working Joe" kids so they are not left back by your elite kid with your money. What "public non charter" school do you volunteer at?

The problem with public schools are most teachers are s----- and lazy. Yes, you heard me right. I have many friends that are and were teachers that are retired. Many cannot figure out how to turn on a computer, prepare a lesson plan other than by an outline. Some have had their child become teachers and then the cycle continues. They see the lifestyle that mom or dad have, work 9 months of the year excluding days of holidays, winter break ect. Show up for 30 years get a retirement plan that is huge along with LIFETIME medical.

Your hardworking families on Marco Island I do not agree with. Does the person mowing your lawn or cleaning your pool live next door to you? I doubt it.
Would you want that person living next door to you? I doubt it. People like you "Darmas" want to say that the island is so "diverse" in "economic" backgrounds but I do not see my landscaper at the country club.

Your other statement "if you don't have a child why do you care? That is an elitist statement if I ever heard one. Truth is I am part of Marco Island as a resident and I care about the impact on my FELLOW CITIZENS which you do not care about as long as your school can proceed forward.

The "Darmas" see this as a huge chance to get what they want one stop island. Paradise confined. I to like the privacy of the island why would I have paid so much money for anything else? You people are just trying to take it to the next level then what? Marco University? A school for only the very elite.

Want that lifestyle? I don't I want to live in a friendly place with peace and quiet. You people "Darmas" want that and more.

You should move to Ava Maria. That was done right. It was developed in OPEN AREAS from scratch, and then the town will evolve around the school. Brillant planning. Tom Monanhan is a very smart man. He constructed his vision and did not bother or displace one person. I admire his thought and compassion and he used his own funds that HE earned. He did not just by off the YMCA like you are trying to do.

The problem you "Darmas" want it all. I do not believe the majority of the island want your school on the YMCA properity.

I volunteer at Tommie Barfield Elementary...it is a public non charter school on Marco Island.

4marcoisland writes:

in response to MarcoMom09:

I hope this all gets worked out because by the time my babies are old enough to go there (wherever it is), all the kinks will be ironed out and it will be great.

Just keep sticking with your values, the core mission, and intent of your vision and curriculum. If it is meant to be, everyone who sees that will see past the obstacles and help make it happen for the children and community of Marco Island.

And do yourself a favor, 4marcoisland, stop trying to defend yourself against ignorant, miserable people-there are plenty of them out there-it's a waste of time and energy that would be better directed elsewhere.

Thanks Marco Mom, you are right. These people are a waste of time. The same handful of people post negative comments about everything. They don't take any action to try to improve things, just spend their time complaining and making negative comments about what everyone else is doing. Just thought some accurate information should be available to the people who read these comments. I have been following the progress of the Marco Island Academy very closely and the group is a powerhouse. I am going to focus my energy on volunteering at Tommie Barfield and working for the high school effort. Hopefully it will all be up and running long before your kids are in high school:)

4marcoisland writes:

in response to GBR:

4marcoisland;
"by the time our students are in high school, we are one of the worst countries in the world."

I need to see some factual stastics on this.

;-)

Here is one article, but there are hundreds to choose from. Google Education K-12 How is the US comparing to other countries. This article states figures comparing the US 8th grade and how the scores slide by 12th grade. This is a NATION WIDE problem. Ignoring it will not make it go away!
K-12 Public Education:
Ignoring Good Management Practices and Risking America's Future
STEM Subjects Are Key to Innovation

Recent studies emphasize a strong correlation
U.S. Students Lag Internationally

U.S. students currently lag behind their international counterparts in basic science and math skills. When comparing the 8th grade test scores of American students with their international counterparts, the U.S. is in the 32nd percentile in math and the 59th percentile in science. Yet, these figures worsen when comparing 12th grade advanced math and physics students around the world, American students are in the lowly 6th percentile in math and at a bleak 0% in science. These figures portray the stark reality that, when compared to other countries, American students are failing.

Even at the advanced PhD level, there is a declining interest in STEM subjects. In 1987, 4,700 PhDs were awarded to U.S. citizens, while 5,600 Asian citizens were awarded PhDs. By 2001, only 4,400 PhDs were awarded to U.S. citizens while 24,900 Asian citizens received PhDs. At a time when the number of American students receiving PhDs declined, the number earned in Asian countries jumped by a factor of five. Furthermore, only 17% of all U.S. bachelor degrees awarded were in engineering and science, while Singapore awarded 68% of its bachelor degrees in these fields, China 58%, South Korea 36% and Taiwan 34%. Most European countries also awarded a higher percentage of degrees in science and engineering than the U.S., led by Germany with 31% of bachelor degrees awarded in engineering and science.

The serious predicament of our education system is very real. Each year fewer American students focus on STEM subjects at advanced levels, and even fewer master math and science at even the basic grade school level. If education in STEM subjects is one of the foundational characteristics of the United States’ innovative ecosystem then the modification of our educational system should remain a top priority.

33yearresident writes:

4marco, glad to see you admit that you are wrong in calling the proposed academy a charter school.

Charter school - no. Private school - maybe. Only if you people cough up the bucks and give up on your mooching mentality. Stop expecting everyone else to pay for what you want. A high school on Marco is not needed, only wanted by a small group of people who live in fear of Lely.
People are shaking their heads behind your backs at your ignorance. What a pitiful waste of time and effort.

GBBUZZ writes:

in response to 33yearresident:

4marco- get my facts straight??? You need to get your facts straight.

You state that the proposed academy is a charter school. When did the proposed Marco Academy get their charter? They don't have a charter. Why?

The county turned them down, backed up by refusal of the state to fund a charter high school on Marco. Why? Not needed.

Some day, if this group gets private funding, they might have a little private school for a small number of students whose parents do not want them to have a well rounded high school experience.

If that's what you want for your kids, keep your checkbook handy.

Now 33, get your facts straight... They have not applied for a Charter yet, the County never turned them down, the State never turned them down, and if they did, it would be based on the "niche" they were trying to fill... not on, "if it was needed." Now let's see if you own up when you are wrong.

GBR writes:

in response to 4marcoisland:

Here is one article, but there are hundreds to choose from. Google Education K-12 How is the US comparing to other countries. This article states figures comparing the US 8th grade and how the scores slide by 12th grade. This is a NATION WIDE problem. Ignoring it will not make it go away!
K-12 Public Education:
Ignoring Good Management Practices and Risking America's Future
STEM Subjects Are Key to Innovation

Recent studies emphasize a strong correlation
U.S. Students Lag Internationally

U.S. students currently lag behind their international counterparts in basic science and math skills. When comparing the 8th grade test scores of American students with their international counterparts, the U.S. is in the 32nd percentile in math and the 59th percentile in science. Yet, these figures worsen when comparing 12th grade advanced math and physics students around the world, American students are in the lowly 6th percentile in math and at a bleak 0% in science. These figures portray the stark reality that, when compared to other countries, American students are failing.

Even at the advanced PhD level, there is a declining interest in STEM subjects. In 1987, 4,700 PhDs were awarded to U.S. citizens, while 5,600 Asian citizens were awarded PhDs. By 2001, only 4,400 PhDs were awarded to U.S. citizens while 24,900 Asian citizens received PhDs. At a time when the number of American students receiving PhDs declined, the number earned in Asian countries jumped by a factor of five. Furthermore, only 17% of all U.S. bachelor degrees awarded were in engineering and science, while Singapore awarded 68% of its bachelor degrees in these fields, China 58%, South Korea 36% and Taiwan 34%. Most European countries also awarded a higher percentage of degrees in science and engineering than the U.S., led by Germany with 31% of bachelor degrees awarded in engineering and science.

The serious predicament of our education system is very real. Each year fewer American students focus on STEM subjects at advanced levels, and even fewer master math and science at even the basic grade school level. If education in STEM subjects is one of the foundational characteristics of the United States’ innovative ecosystem then the modification of our educational system should remain a top priority.

Thank you for the numbers.

Assumeing these numbers are correct, "lagging behind" is much different than "worst in the world."

Just the raw numbers are not a fair comparison.
"In 1987, 4,700 PhDs were awarded to U.S. citizens, while 5,600 Asian citizens were awarded PhDs. By 2001, only 4,400 PhDs were awarded to U.S. citizens while 24,900 Asian citizens received PhDs."

Assuming "Asian" means China, Japan, and Korea, we did pretty good. There are approxamately 300 million people in the US, While China alone has well over 1 billion.( A billion is 1,000 million)

My point is, don't say we are worst in the world when are far from it.

;-)

blogsmog writes:

Could we please limit each post to a 1000 words or less.

4marcoisland writes:

in response to GBR:

Thank you for the numbers.

Assumeing these numbers are correct, "lagging behind" is much different than "worst in the world."

Just the raw numbers are not a fair comparison.
"In 1987, 4,700 PhDs were awarded to U.S. citizens, while 5,600 Asian citizens were awarded PhDs. By 2001, only 4,400 PhDs were awarded to U.S. citizens while 24,900 Asian citizens received PhDs."

Assuming "Asian" means China, Japan, and Korea, we did pretty good. There are approxamately 300 million people in the US, While China alone has well over 1 billion.( A billion is 1,000 million)

My point is, don't say we are worst in the world when are far from it.

;-)

a few more stats for you :)
Assessments were conducted in 21 countries in 1995 to examine performance on the general knowledge of mathematics and science expected of all students and on more specialized content taught only in advanced courses.

The science assessment covered earth sciences/life sciences and physical sciences, topics covered in grade 9 in many other countries but not until grade 11 in U.S. schools. On the general science knowledge assessment, U.S. students scored 20 points below the 21-country international average, comparable to the performance of 7 other nations but below the performance of 11 nations participating in the assessment. Only 2 of the 21 countries, Cyprus and South Africa, performed at a significantly lower level than the United States.
A curriculum analysis showed that the general mathematics assessment given to students in their last year of secondary education covered topics comparable to 7th-grade material internationally and 9th-grade material in the United States. Again, U.S. students scored below the international average, outperformed by 14 countries but scoring similarly to Italy, the Russian Federation, Lithuania, and the Czech Republic. As on the general science assessment, only Cyprus and South Africa performed at a lower level. These results suggest that students in the United States appear to be losing ground in mathematics and science to students in many other countries as they progress from elementary to middle to secondary school.

Achievement of Advanced Students. On advanced mathematics and science assessments, U.S. 12th grade students who had taken advanced coursework in these subjects performed poorly compared with their counterparts in other countries, even though U.S. students are less likely to have taken advanced courses than students at the end of secondary school in other countries. Compared with their counterparts in other countries, U.S. students performed below the international average of 16 countries on the physics assessment. (See figure 1-6 .) The mean achievement scores of the United States (423) and Austria (435) were at the bottom of the international comparison (average = 501). Students in 14 other countries scored significantly higher than the United States. The subset of U.S. students taking or having taken AP physics scored 474 on the assessment, similar to scores of all advanced science students in nine other countries, and six countries scored higher (scores ranged from 518 to 581). Only Austria performed at a significantly lower level, with an average score of 435 (NCES 1998b.)

The international average on the advanced mathematics assessment was 501. U.S. students, scoring 442, were outperformed by students in 11 nations, whose average scores ranged from 475 to 557. No nation performed significantly below the United States; Italy, the Czech Republic, Germany, and Austria performed at about the same level. (See figure 1-6 .)

GBR writes:

Don't get me wrong, I know there is room for improvement, but your comment about "worst in the world" was a gross exaggeration.

"Assessments were conducted in 21 countries in 1995"

how many countries in the world?
Many sources offer different answers, and depending on the source, there are 189 , 191, 192, 193, 194 or 195 independent countries in the world today. ...
http://www.worldatlas.com/nations.htm

So according to your stats, we are still in the top 10.

;-)

4marcoisland writes:

in response to GBR:

Don't get me wrong, I know there is room for improvement, but your comment about "worst in the world" was a gross exaggeration.

"Assessments were conducted in 21 countries in 1995"

how many countries in the world?
Many sources offer different answers, and depending on the source, there are 189 , 191, 192, 193, 194 or 195 independent countries in the world today. ...
http://www.worldatlas.com/nations.htm

So according to your stats, we are still in the top 10.

;-)

You are right. I meant compared with other industrialized countries we are seriously behind( I was not including 3rd world countries). Based on the US being a world leader, you would expect the US to be at the top in Education...and we are not. We have the resources and the talent, but are still missing the mark. Compared with the other industrialized countries in the world we are NOT in the top 10 percent. If we ignore the fact there is a problem and do nothing to correct it, we will continue to fall further behind. This study is from 2006.

While most parents think their children are receiving a quality education, the majority of American students are falling behind their international counterparts. The consequences to the country are dramatic.

Consider these stark statistics:
We have low expectations for American students.
American students rank 25th in math and 21st in science compared to students in 30 industrialized countries.

America’s top math students rank 25th out of 30 countries when compared with top students elsewhere in the world. [1]
By the end of 8th grade, U.S. students are two years behind in the math being studied by peers in other countries. [2]
Seventy percent of 8th graders can’t read at their grade level, and most will never catch up.
Too many students drop out.
More than 1.2 million students drop out of school every year. That’s more than 6,000 students every school day and one every 26 seconds. [3]
The national high school graduation rate is only 70 percent, with states ranging from a high of 84 percent in Utah to a low of 54 percent in South Carolina. [4]

MrBreeze writes:

GBBUZZ, your posts confirms just what I am saying. You come from a family of teachers. Like I say, you know it is a good gig so you encourage your family to join in.

Last I checked school ends in June and starts in September. Thats 90 days off. Then of course there are the hoildays, mid winter break, spring break, conference days ect.

You post "we all have advanced degrees" this is another way teachers scam the taxpayer. They go to a basic colledge then when hired to teach they go back to school on the taxpayers dime for "advanced degrees" thus paying nothing or very little on a shared plan.

I like the way you post " spend an average of 3 hours a day above what is required by our contract" I would ask doing what? Teachers I know start at 8:00 and end at 3:30 Also, I like the way you are so quick to refer to your "contract". Another fact about teachers, they know the "contract" in and out, line by line, and believe me they use it to their full advantage.

Next, teachers and educators recieve "Retirement Plans" which also includes "medical coverage while retired" so I do not know what you are saying.

Finally, your example of "web" tools for lesson planning makes my point of how lazy and s----- teachers are. They always depend on a "guideline" for lesson planning because they lack the skills to prepare one on their own.

I was envolved in the education system and offered a job teaching but I declined because I could not take being around such a group of people as teachers.

Teachers claim to be educated, yet they lack the basic skills and work ethic. That is why todays student is the same product they are, s----- and lazy.

Please do not try to change my opinion as I have seen it first hand how the education system works.

GBBUZZ writes:

in response to MrBreeze:

GBBUZZ, your posts confirms just what I am saying. You come from a family of teachers. Like I say, you know it is a good gig so you encourage your family to join in.

Last I checked school ends in June and starts in September. Thats 90 days off. Then of course there are the hoildays, mid winter break, spring break, conference days ect.

You post "we all have advanced degrees" this is another way teachers scam the taxpayer. They go to a basic colledge then when hired to teach they go back to school on the taxpayers dime for "advanced degrees" thus paying nothing or very little on a shared plan.

I like the way you post " spend an average of 3 hours a day above what is required by our contract" I would ask doing what? Teachers I know start at 8:00 and end at 3:30 Also, I like the way you are so quick to refer to your "contract". Another fact about teachers, they know the "contract" in and out, line by line, and believe me they use it to their full advantage.

Next, teachers and educators recieve "Retirement Plans" which also includes "medical coverage while retired" so I do not know what you are saying.

Finally, your example of "web" tools for lesson planning makes my point of how lazy and s----- teachers are. They always depend on a "guideline" for lesson planning because they lack the skills to prepare one on their own.

I was envolved in the education system and offered a job teaching but I declined because I could not take being around such a group of people as teachers.

Teachers claim to be educated, yet they lack the basic skills and work ethic. That is why todays student is the same product they are, s----- and lazy.

Please do not try to change my opinion as I have seen it first hand how the education system works.

By your last post, I know that I cannot change your opinion... Although your facts are so wrong! I know what I do as an educator, the time I put in, and the time that I spend creating my own lessons (we do not use text books!) and by the way... The "system" did NOT pay for any part of my degrees and the Florida Retirement System does not pay for your Health Care. Wrong again, but you cannot change the mind of a fool, only disregard them and move on.

EQUALOPPORTUNTIY writes:

A charter high school is not likely to be approved on Marco Island. The Collier County District Board has a Magnet School for the Environment in their master plan at Lely High School and a Magnet School for the Arts at Golden Gate High School in space that is already built. Therefore, the MIDC proposal duplicates the District's master plan, which will expand choice for Marco Island students. Marco Island does not qualify as an underachieving, minority district, which is the demographic targeted by the federal Race to the Top dollars. Isn't it reasonable to ask what will become of donations when the District turns down the MIDC's application, and the State fails to overturn the District when they have a similar proposal in the works in space that is already built and serves the same student population?

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