POLL: High school on Marco Island one step closer to reality

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— Marco Island is a step closer to having a high school on the Island.

The Collier County School Board voted 4-1 Wednesday to approve the application for the Marco Island Discovery Center, a charter high school.

Board member Pat Carroll was the lone dissenter.

School Board members delayed a vote on the charter school last month, citing a need for more information before they made the vote.

The Collier County Public School’s Charter School Committee recommended the board deny the charter application, citing several “areas of significant concern” including in the educational program design, curriculum, facilities and budget.

Staff continued to work with the school’s leaders during the extension to clarify those areas of concerns identified as problem.

“I am so glad we waited and worked with the district. It was the right decision,” said Jane Watt, chairwoman of the board of directors for the school.

Wednesday afternoon, Superintendent Dennis Thompson told the Collier County School Board that it was his opinion and the opinion of his staff that the school met the minimum standards and recommended approval.

More than 50 people turned out for the vote and, of those who spoke, most spoke in favor of the charter high school.

Vince Magee has six children. One has graduated from Lely, two go to Lely and three would be zoned for Lely when they become old enough to attend high school.

He said he welcomed a high school on the Island.

“This school will help the students in the middle of the road who need a push,” he said. “The people who are not in favor of this say, ‘I don’t want a high school in my backyard.’ Well, too bad. A high school will make Marco Island children better students.”

David Vergo, a 1985 Lely graduate who has two sons he will send to the charter high school, said a high school on the Island would allow Marco Island parents to be more involved in their child’s education.

“My wife and I know the value of parental involvement,” he said. “But it is not feasible at Lely (because of the drive). We are asking you to allow us to be involved.”

Not everyone saw it that way. Marco Island resident and Lely High School senior Bailey Quinn said approval of the charter high school was being pushed by people who would not be affected by it. She said attending Lely High School exposed her to more than she would see on Marco Island and offered students sports and clubs, which would not be available at a charter high school.

“I am furious,” she said after the vote. “I am not opposed to a high school, but if you have a problem with Lely, you should work to better Lely. Although, I think if you spent any time at Lely, you would see the good.”

Board member Roy Terry, a former principal at Lely High School, said the vote was not about Lely High School or a comment on the school.

“The district is still committed to Lely,” he said. “And there will still be a number of students from Marco Island who will go to Lely because of what they have to offer. … Lely’s strength is its diversity.”

The Marco Island Discovery Center applied for the charter after about two years of organizational work. The school, which plans to open August 2011, is projected to have 250 students, with a 500-student enrollment by its fifth year.

Board member Steve Donovan said he was impressed with what he saw.

“What sold me was the curriculum part,” he said. “Jane (Watt) came in very goal-driven. She learned from her mistakes.”

Attempts to reach Carroll after the meeting were unsuccessful.

Watt said the school’s next steps will be finding a location, funding and hiring a director.

Connect with K-12 education policy reporter Katherine Albers at www.naplesnews.com/staff/katherine-albers/.

© 2010 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 65

MarcoMama615 writes:

I am happy to hear that this school was approved. I hope the Marco community will now rally and support the future education of our children. We are not elitists, we only want a better choice for our children. This is one step in paving better opportunities for the youth of Marco. They will be what keeps Marco a vibrant and growing city. I commend Jane Watts and the group that worked so hard for this.

giggel211 writes:

Congratulation!!!!!!

bigkillsh writes:

what about a location , band , sport's .

waverunner writes:

Congrats to all involved in getting this project off the ground. Beware though, the ignorant babies Ray and Yoda (Blabbermouth) will be screaming on here about this (too bad!). :)

MrsT writes:

Are all the proposed students Marco Island residents or is it ok for 'other' kids to make the drive or bus ride that is deemed too much for the Marco kids? Have they ever done a poll on Marco that isn't merely the results from MICA and polls ALL the Marco residents? I've never seen one. I'm not a MICA member but I am a Marco resident, homeowner, taxpayer.

santabarbara writes:

So many generations will benefit from this outstanding school just like the Marco Island Charter Middle School. Our middle school has been terrific for our community and our high school will be too.

Congratulations to all who worked so hard to attain this outstanding education for our children!

Tinkers_Damn writes:

Fill in Mackle Lake to provide the acreage needed.

33yearresident writes:

Every $ put into a new school will be a $ not supporting Tommie Barfield,MICMS,or Lely, schools that have already fallen behind in support. Hey, why not add a new school to that list?

freedomofspeech1 writes:

in response to 33yearresident:

Every $ put into a new school will be a $ not supporting Tommie Barfield,MICMS,or Lely, schools that have already fallen behind in support. Hey, why not add a new school to that list?

The middle school will be a big loser here...they barely are able to come up with the money to operate...that school may go public in a year or so...this new school is filled with selfish people!

MrsT writes:

in response to Klabautermann:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

No, had that shoved at us too and had to pay for it.

happyhorowitz34145 writes:

This is awesome...Now maybe Jim Reviere can have his phoney PHD's certified and accredited by a real school.

RayPray writes:

For Shame!!!

The only reason this thuggish Gang of Watt -- so reminiscent of the JAX$ON LAB$ storm troopers -- demand we all fund their gold plated Marco Apartheid Academy is to shield the delicate and willowy youth of our island from the robust African and Hispanic diversity amply available at Lely High?

bigkillsh writes:

wait unti the manor kid's start getting bussed in .

lauralbi1 writes:

Let's all take a step back and really, objectively evaluate what this means. If you ask Jane Watt, she would tell you, in confidence, that the Application is a first step. You notice some caveats in the Application approval. One was funding.
The Charter High School will get $225,000 for start up costs, but that is NOT funding. This will not be a major victory to get this Grant. It is given to each Charter School that receives a Charter.
We are talking multi--multi-million dollar Grants and a location.
The School does NOT, I repeat NOT, have a Charter yet. That is where the real battle begins.
In the interim, all of you Elementary School parents better donate all you have to the Middle School or you may be faced with a big problem there.
Ed Issler

Fossil writes:

This is a historical day for our City. Now the children who go to our very fine Charter Middle School will finally have a place to attend High School. A facility close to their homes. Issler, the city has multi-million dollar homes, why not a multi-million dollar community supported Charter school? As with all worthy projects, this one will find the money also.

captnjimbo writes:

in response to Fossil:

This is a historical day for our City. Now the children who go to our very fine Charter Middle School will finally have a place to attend High School. A facility close to their homes. Issler, the city has multi-million dollar homes, why not a multi-million dollar community supported Charter school? As with all worthy projects, this one will find the money also.

A very good post...this will be good for the Island...benefits beyond a better life for Island kids and their parents.

here_is_my2cents writes:

in response to RayPray:

For Shame!!!

The only reason this thuggish Gang of Watt -- so reminiscent of the JAX$ON LAB$ storm troopers -- demand we all fund their gold plated Marco Apartheid Academy is to shield the delicate and willowy youth of our island from the robust African and Hispanic diversity amply available at Lely High?

I am afraid you appear as closed minded as the type of people you complain about. It is sad to see you can see no benefit to this program. Look with open eyes. My son attends VPK programs on this island and I assure you the entire class is not caucasian, so why do you think the high school would be? Please do not make statements that have no merit.

RayPray writes:

"Look with open eyes....Please do not make statements that have no merit."

Here's how this mendacious thuggish group for Marco Apartheid Academy works:

We all pay ample taxes.

These funds support some pretty decent high schools, including Lely.

You decide your delicate gormless brats are just too good for these public high schools.

Well there is an obvious solution....

Community School of Naples and other great private high schools in this area.

Oh, But aren't these expensive?

Why yes!

So what to do?

Your corrupt brain then decides why not get me and the rest of us innocent home owners to foot the bill for enveloping your febrile brats in this Apartheid Academy instead?

You get t-shirts and placards and write these endless snotty letters, like everyone is eagerly on board your dubious scheme to underwrite insulating your overweight offspring from real world America....

Thus, you are no different than the well-organized thugs parading around for the Jax$0n Lab$ boondoggle.

lauralbi1 writes:

I actually am enjoying the false sense of security that is being shown by those that seem to be in support of this Charter High School.
Keep it up. And in addition, talk to the Charetr Middle School Admin folks and ask them how solvent they are. They have about a $1 Million surplus fund built up over 12 years that is starting to dwindle.
Ed Issler

lauralbi1 writes:

I just wonder what everyone will say when someone is killed by an off-Island high school student or the many drug busts that will occur. I can hear it now. It wasn't our kids !!
The real question is why ?? Why disrupt our traffic patterns, our quality of life, our tax infra-structure, our environment, why, when it is not necessary ?? Especialkly since it benefits such a small portion of our Community. Why ??
And yes, HIGH SCHOOL is different than Elementary or Middle School.
Even the Comprehensive Plan for Marco Island makes that distinction.
Ed Issler

lauralbi1 writes:

Oh, Klaubautermann, we did have a referendum on the STRP. The 2008 election was a clear as it could have been. And just as a reminder, the STRP slate won by a landslide, including your favorite Councilman, Wayne Waldack (keep it up Wayne) !!
Just as a reminder, the results for the pro-STRP slate was defined in election terms as a Landslide victory.
Oh, yes, you have excuses, but they don't fly. The next election will reflect the same vision for the future of Marco Island, which is a great thing.
Ed Issler

Shemaebrag writes:

I am really ashamed at the behavior of some on this whole issue. Its ok to disagree but is the name calling and hypocrisy really necessary? I will pray that our community may actually start acting like one and try to resolve their differances in opinion in a more responsible manor.
I do have a question on something I read. If there is nothing wrong with the high school now, then why in the next comment do I read...."I just wonder what everyone will say when someone is killed by an off-Island high school student or the many drug busts that will occur." What???

liberator100 writes:

Sad news:
Klabberyapper was not accepted to study at the Phantom Marco Academy! He was told to attend Tommie Barfield instead and take remedial English classes.

RayPray writes:

"...talk about your great hero time in WW I + WW II. Marco Island needs future models and not obsolescent models...."

Marco Klaub is again on the mark here!

liberator100 writes:

Klabberyapper, do you want to tell us who your WW I and WW II heroes were? We all would like to know.
Yes, age is an issue of mind over matter. But you have neither; no mind, no matter.

RayPray writes:

"My education level is to high for you."

too?

"Let it be." Lennon & McCartney!

"...clean your Purple Heart for your own brain shut."

OK!

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

Marco Island Academy = A School For Nowhere

We can say anything we want but the poll above or any other poll for that matter. Even the one that should be had on this island but our Town Council refuses to discuss or address would show that the vast majority of people on this island do not want a high school built here.

The reason that the Charter School was approved by the Collier County Board of Education was that they were forced into approving a document that because of the design and requirements of law they had to approve, not because they wanted to but because the law says if all the i's are dotted and the t's are crossed the application has to be approved.

This is by far not a "done deal" by anyone's imagination as one would be made to think by the Academy's proponents.

If you want a private school then use your own money. Not our tax dollars. It is our tax dollars that go to Lely therefore would be directed to a Charter School so stop making the false comments that "our tax dollars" are not involved.

WE ALL SHOULD HAVE A CHOICE IN THIS MATTER, NOT JUST AN ELITE FEW!

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

Losermann,

The vote was because it would have gone to the State and the State approves any and all Charters applications that fulfill the requirements of the application. The school board was smart enough not to want to waste the money that would have been spent fighting this fiasco of a legal battle that they would lose because of the way the rules are set down by the state for a Charter School.
Know your facts Losermann! You yourself has called for a referendum on many occassions on this matter. The fact is the Charter School does not need a referendum or community support in order to get the application approved.

Your child hater comment is out of line especially from a person who appears to want little children around him so much! I have always worried about "those" kind of people.

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

in response to Klabautermann:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Losermann,

Once again with the child-hater comment. Well Losermann it appears to takes a "Child-Lover" to really know what a child hater is. If the shoe fits wear it. If you stop using that ugly expression I will stop with my retort.

The people in my neighborhood which is nowhere near Tract K by the vast majority feel the same as I do and want a referendum.

"We do not NEED a high school on Marco Island".

So once again stop trying to post partial truths for your "School For Nowhere" comments.
.

naples_rocket writes:

I just hope kids are not reading this "intelligent and mature" discussion

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

in response to Klabautermann:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Losermann,

Try to think up something on your own and stop making like you have something intelligent to say and repeating what others say like a parrot. You are by no doubt the biggest "LOSER" on Marco Island and that is a fact.

Just think now you are the best at something.

LOSERMANN KING OF THE SCHOOL FOR NOWHERE!

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

in response to Klabautermann:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Losermann,

Has nothing better to say than parrot what other people say about him. Parrot want a cracker? When I made a mistake I admitted it when you make a mistake you won't admit it because you are a LOSER!

Thank You for repeating my comments for all to see.

freedomofspeech1 writes:

in response to Klabautermann:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You are totally wrong! The reason that the majority are against the school has nothing to do with where the school will be. The ONLY reason that they are against the school is because it is not needed and Lely is more than adequate to educate even the priviliged children of Marco Island. This is about LELY not where the buidling will be. This proposal hurts Lely and therefore WE ARE AGAINST ANYTHING THAT HURTS LELY!!!Lely is the ONLY schoold in Collier County that has had to endure people cheating to avoid Lely and now must handle a competing school within its own boundaries....if you are in support of Lely then you have no choice but to oppose this school!!

RayPray writes:

Here's an idea....

Why not situate the Marco Apartheid Academy championed by the iniquitous Gang of WATT at the new Marco History Museum?

This edifice is already up...but largely vacant and unused.

The building may be tiny, but, then, so few kids will be enrolled at the Apartheid Academy anyway that it hardly matters....

RayPray writes:

Are these logorrheaic, metastatic posts by one so-called "Klabautermann" no more than verbal chaff or Düppel generated by a group of malefactors deep in the City government, with the aim of rendering these blogs too congested with illogical tripe for any reasonable reader to pay more than transient attention too?

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

in response to Klabautermann:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Losermann,

I can not figure out who is dumber you or your fantasy character. The correct spelling of DUMB is LOSERMANN!

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

in response to Klabautermann:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Losermann,

LOL......Just repeating what others say, time and time again.

PARROT WANT A CRACKER! SQUARRRKKK!

LOSERMANN KING OF THE SCHOOL FOR NOWHERE!

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

in response to Klabautermann:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

LOSERMANN,

SQUARRKKKK!!!!.....PARROT WANTS A CRACKER! Our parrot makes more sense then you do.

u2cane writes:

All this fight and what happens if she can't get a location ON Marco. Would she put her "Marco" school in another location if a suitable one on Marco doesn't exist? Say, inside or near Lely, lol.

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

in response to Klabautermann:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

LOSERMANN,

Thanks for repeating what was posted earlier as proof that Marco Island was not the largest city without a high school. All of those above do not have a high school of their own except, the one I made an error to which was the one in Palm Beach. Each of the others listed have a larger population than Marco Island and in fact have more families with children.
So Losermann, when you want to argue a point come up with some facts which are correct.

LOSERMANN KING OF THE SCHOOL FOR NOWHERE!

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

in response to Klabautermann:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

"LOSERMANN OVER 225 COMMENTS REMOVED BY STAFF AND STILL COUNTING."

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

in response to Klabautermann:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

LOSERMANN SELF PROCLAIMED MOUTHPIECE FOR THE SCHOOL FOR NOWHERE!

Islandeye, thank you for your concern, but please do not worry yourself for me.

Could anyone with any degree of intelligence take his blogs seriously? He parrots what you have said and tries to get your goat. Do you remember when the little children would comment on something with one another and the one being commented on would come back with "I know you are, but what am I?" This is as far as LOSERMANN got in school. He keeps repeating, what he thinks is annoying himself and we keep laughing at his childishness. No wonder he wants little children around him in his, fantasy neighborhood, so he can play their childish games with them.

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

Klabauterman,

I know what "Arshloch "means. It means a--hole in English. Oh! I am so offended!!!!!! I hope they remove this post and yours because as I have said all you are doing is repeating what others have called you earlier and you are incapable of coming up with something new on your own.

1Paradiselost writes:

in response to Ocram:

Klabauterman,

I know what "Arshloch "means. It means a--hole in English. Oh! I am so offended!!!!!! I hope they remove this post and yours because as I have said all you are doing is repeating what others have called you earlier and you are incapable of coming up with something new on your own.

Hey it was me was gave Kalb the name "Arshloch" a month ago. The name fits him well. He's got an opinion on everything this paper prints. Give us all a break!

liberator100 writes:

freedomofspeech1: Perfectly explained. Klabberyapper will not get it; only because he can't comprehend English 101 but others will. Thank you for supporting Lely; the only high school Marco Island supports.

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

Has anybody noticed the lack of posts by the major proponents during the past couple of months? You know which ones, the "I Never Ever Lose, Ever!!!, proponent,..... the one who went to school in Mass. which had to travel to play sports.

They appear to have been told not to blog because their comments gave credence to our responses. I am wondering what is happening behind closed doors during this "time of silence". Who is talking who about something the effects many on this Island and why is not out in the open for all to see?

1Paradiselost writes:

in response to Klabautermann:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Kalb, Give it a break. BTW he's no fighter he's a chicken who hides behind an imaginary character.

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

in response to 1Paradiselost:

Kalb, Give it a break. BTW he's no fighter he's a chicken who hides behind an imaginary character.

Paradise,
Did you not know Losermann is 3000 years old and knows everything! He has lived all this time at the bottom of the ship and became the world's first "fungus amongus" getting under people's skin?

1Paradiselost writes:

in response to Ocram:

Paradise,
Did you not know Losermann is 3000 years old and knows everything! He has lived all this time at the bottom of the ship and became the world's first "fungus amongus" getting under people's skin?

I can respect ones opinion, but this guy is a expert on all subjects this paper writes about. Opinions are like a-holes everyone's got one. but this guy has several. He feels the need to respond to each and every post on any subject. That tells me he's a lonely man. Let me say this again, we should ask him out for a beer. But that would never happen because this guy lives in his imaginary world behind the curtain. But if you can set it up.....I'll pay the tab! This would be fun!

freedomofspeech1 writes:

in response to Klabautermann:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You make no sense! NO ONE WITH HALF A BRAIN WILL SEND THEIR KID TO THIS NEW SCHOOL! THEY WILL BE IN TRAILERS FOR YEARS!!! WHERE IS THE MONEY COMING FROM???? WHERE IS THE LAND COMING FROM???? IT DOESNT ADD UP!
THIS IS A PIPEDREAM BY A FEW PEOPLE THAT DONT REPRESENT MARCO ISLAND!

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