Comments by MarcoDefender

Written on Charter School may have first student lottery:

This is a surprise, but understandable considering the high level of performance and rating of this school.

What I wonder is, why the preference doesn't exist for students who live on marco island ( a few miles from the school), as opposed to non-Marco Island kids. Surely it doesn't seem logical to have a lottery and have N. Naples students here, while a student living across the street from the school, doesn't get chosen in the lottery, and must then have to go off island everyday for schooling. Anyone else agree?

Anyone know why preference doesn't extend beyond just school board and employees?

Written on Marco Island Academy readies for expansion:

in response to eaglepalooza:

Who are you to say this school is top rated? Just because they score well on a test means nothing. The teachers they employ are far from world class. The athletic programs are lame. The facilities are pathetic. This is not world class. This is LOW CLASS! Those poor kids are being forced to attend by their lame parents. 99 percent of the middle school kids dont want to attend and will not. Stop making something out of nothing!

Palooza - The charter middle school is top rated, and it's because of the student's performance. Those students will soon populate the Marco Island Academy, hence, the top rating will likely continue. If students choose to go to Lely, that's fine, they have that choice.

If there are aspects you consider lame, it's probably fair since the school is brand new, not everything is great on day one, as you know. Give it a chance, there are so many great things in progress there.

By the way, a substantial portion of MICMS students chose to school at MIA, so again your facts are inaccurate.

Keep at it, you'll eventual get it right.

Written on Marco Island Academy readies for expansion:

in response to eaglepalooza:

Can any of these people spell J-O-K-E?
How much will they be expanding to? 100?
This school has violated all rules regarding the formation of a charter...her first comment was that they can operate if there is a "need"...that has NEVER been established unless you count being too lazy to drive over the Jolly Bridge!

Palooza - This school's charter was approved by a school board that did all they could to stop it, so there's no possible way they violated anything, or they wouldn't exist. Your conclusion is false.

As for need, how do you explain the consistent growth of the Charter Middle School? It's ranked in the top 6% of the state, by the way, and there's so much demand to attend that they will likely have a lottery for acceptance this coming year. Yes, filled beyond capacity is the expectation. By the way, those students, Marco Island residents, would like to continue their studies in their community, and so would we, their parents. What's the point of driving an hour everyday to a sub-rated high school when they can be near home, near their families who are involved in their academic success, with a school that will continue the top rated education they have access to on this island. It's easy math.

I'm guessing you don't have school aged children that reside with you and grow up in this city. Wow, that's shocking. So, get the facts before you make quick judgements on a subject you know very little about. Let's keep our kids on island, let's keep our tax dollars on island, and let's see the continued strong academic performance the kids on this island continue to demonstrate. Do I need to educate you on the fact that the Charter Middle School is ONLY middle school in the entire Collier District to be A rated. The only one. Seems to me they are doing some great work there. By the way, those Charter Middle School students will move to the high school level, into the Marco Island Academy, if they so choose. Just give it a few years, it will be top rated as well.


Written on Marco Island Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee: City parks in danger of being loved to death:

in response to marcofriend:

Gee,somehow the "Phase II" was missed by a lot of people at the property owners meeting last week. It seemed that there would be nothing more than a 1 story building period, and that was only being looked at for feasablility as our City Council has never said we were doing anything. Where will the funding come from? Why is everyone in the City afraid to put this up for a referendum? If they are comfortable that the people all want this at this time, then put it out there and the people will vote for it. Perhaps they are a little nervous with all the opposition along with the huge majority voting against this in the MICA survey.

Marcofriend - It's a leaseback, so there's no cost of capital, just cost of usage. I suspect with the increased usage and revenue programs the center offers, it will cover a good portion of that lease cost on a monthly / annual basis.

As for referendum, I'm pleased that it's not decided in this method. The children on this island are the biggest users of the parks facilities here. Obviously, they benefit from a city with a premier park program like we have here, however, they are not able to voice their opinions as citizens for obvious reasons. To under-represent them would not be democratic.

I wouldn't call the opposition a huge majority, but the vocal minority. I would personally like to be more involved and vocal on these issues, but I'm not retired, therefore have far less time to dedicate on such important aspects of island life.

So, if I understand your point of view, you're against the center because of cost, is that correct? Are there other reasons? Please share, I think this subject deserves more discussion on a citizen level. Thank you.

Written on Letter to the Editor: Seeking info on attack:

Where is the police report on this crime?

Written on Marcophiles: Academy controversy now is academic:

in response to Lafarge:

I am pleased that you read the article. There are multitudes of excuses that you can come up with regarding the YMCA, Tract K, San Marco, enrollment and funding as to why none have worked out as per your outright claims or projections.

A simple quote could possibly sum all of this up for you.

"An enterprise which is built upon the foundation of (misinformation), ego and greed shall not stand the test of time."

In a year or so we will all be able to determine, as per what I perceive, the worth of your misguided efforts.

Lafa - Thanks. I feel confident in writing that you are probably not the target audience, or parent of the target audience for the MIA HS. Considering, what information you have or don't have, just isn't applicable.

All the detractors can keep complaining about the same thing (false information, Oc and the others) while the smart and focused people get the real work done, and bring another education choice to island students. Pretty typically, nothing to do but pick on people who actually want some great things to happen in our community.

Yes, let's meet back, every year for the next few, and we can toast to your poor forecasting on the success of MIAHS here on Marco.

Written on Marcophiles: Academy controversy now is academic:

in response to Lafarge:

Dubrovnik perhaps those who still believe the words of the proponents regarding Charter School ratings should read this recent article from Miami. It is quite enlightening. I guess their fundraiser there did not get much in way of donations or we would have heard the boasts. This article was around the time of the fundraiser.

Lafarge - Good article, thank you for sharing.

I suppose the article would be more applicable if the MIAHS was a for-profit organization, but it's not, so despite the commonality of having a state charter, we're not talking apples to apples here.

As a whole, I do agree that for-profit charters are a huge step in the wrong direction. Thankfully, the MIA Charter HS, is a not-for-profit institution, and appears a good portion of funds for the school are from non-public funds (ie. donations, corporate contributions and other sponsorships). In fact, part of the reason they don't yet have a permanent location and building is because that can NOT be provided by public funds. Considering, it's doing and will do, far more, with far less. Not to mention, it's a non-union school, which is another cost effective aspect of the school.

In all, a lot of positive and financially favorable aspects are at work here. Not too bad for a brand new program.

Written on Marcophiles: Academy controversy now is academic:

in response to Is_It_True_Partially_True_Or_Not_True:

MarcoDefender you are not part of the problem, you are the problem. The problem of promises that were not filled, the problem of destructive, careless, behavior towards your neighbors, the problem of not having a third of the enrollment that you or your leader projected, the problem of an inadequate teaching staff, the problem bullying all those who disagree with you, the problem of labeling the Marco Island Seniors in a derogatory manner and the problem of using public funds for a private school. Should I continue???

Dub - No need to continue, the school will open and your input is moot.

Bottom line, I have no issue with any demographic, but do take issue with those who feel this is the wrong direction. Where there's a will, there's a way, and Jane Watt and all the leadership at MIA have found it.

Just be patient, all good things take time, and a top tier HS program is no different. You didn't get so awesome overnight yourself, so just be patient, the right things will happen. Mark my words. A few years from now, it will be an exemplary program. Just watch...and don't hesitate to keep your negative inputs to yourself. Surely these kids don't need it. I know I don't need it. Thank you.

Written on Marcophiles: Academy controversy now is academic:

in response to Is_It_True_Partially_True_Or_Not_True:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Dub - Nice diplomatic and productive contribution to the discussion.

You're not part of the solution, so quit being part of the problem.

Written on Marcophiles: Academy controversy now is academic:

Capt - Universal support isn't likely, or really needed, however, if the schooling demand trend continues, the interest and capacity for a successful and top rated program won't be far off. It's been shown in countless situations that leaders and supporters with undying energy, skill, financial support and innovation, offer better opportunities for the kids to learn and contribute to their education with far more value. I have no doubt that MIAHS will be a large success.

Great job MIA and all those pioneering smart people who recognize that the path must be created, and that spears will be thrown. I know you do this so the children traveling behind us on the path, will travel faster, smarter, safer, with better preparation for the future. Well done!

Written on Same school, new spot – Marco Island Academy to open in former Baptist church school location:

in response to islandeye1#236971:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Eye - Typical distortion.

I wrote that if you don't support the island, and the need for good students to continue their education to the high school level in their community, then keep your negative energy to yourself.

You're right, I am focused, and the focus is seeing the MIA HS be given a fair and impartial opportunity to do what it can do best.

The only cramming I wish to do is set the record straight to Oc and company. Somebody has to stand up to that negative attitude.

Written on Same school, new spot – Marco Island Academy to open in former Baptist church school location:

in response to islandeye1#236971:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Eye - Nice interpretation. If you and Oc can decide via blog how unlawful these HS supporters are, then I think I'm entitled to a little opinion that supporters of the island's future are better suited to be on this island.

People don't need to care about me, but they do need some fair and reasonable perspective, or at least a sensible view of perspective about this school. They surely won't that from you or Oc.

If you want to stay, I'm OK with it. At least both of us can have a reasonable dialogue on this subject. Oc seems a little set in her ways.

Written on Same school, new spot – Marco Island Academy to open in former Baptist church school location:

in response to Ocram:

Marco Defender,

It is not up to YOU or any of us to decide if a Cross should be in the school. What goes on at other religious institutions is not the issue so why, once again, cloud up the issue with such nonsense? The other institutions are not housing a public high school.

It is the law, so follow it instead of your constant attempts to circumvent both the law and the personal considerations of our community, which were just fine before this whole issue came up.

You never had sight of this community as a whole-you only considered your own personal agenda. So once again stop calling anyone else the problem because quite frankly you and your constant output of misinformation has been the "problem" since the beginning of your venture.

If you really wanted what the community wanted you would have gone for a referendum right from the start, not trying to maneuver and skirt that issue with any and all attempts to avoid it.

Now you consider yourself as making the community a better place. Sorry, you blew that possibility out of the water a long time ago with your inconsiderate actions relating to Tract K and the neighbors of that property and the way you "used" the Y.

Now you want to break the law, how endearing that is for us who totally disagree with that. In addition what a great first lesson for the kids, if you don't get what you like just break the law, it doesn't matter as long as you get your way. How s----- do you think people are?

I want to leave you with this final comment, for now, it is not that we do not want a high school on this island, it is we do not want a high school with you or anyone who agrees with you in any form of leadership or that has anything to do with an honest education for the next generation.

Now take that to the bank.

Oc - You're right, it's not up to you, so leave it up to the parents of those high school students to decide. If they can handle seeing a cross, whether driving down San Marco, or passing a doorway on the way to their high school classes, it is not for you to decide. Just as you so appropriately pointed out.

I think you need some additional education about the law on this subject. You may have an idealist perspective, but when it comes to application of what's allowed under the law, you're far from correct.

Yes, let's not cloud the situation. The objective is to have a high school in the community. It's about the community, my high school years are long over, it's not about me, despite your view that my motives are purely selfish. I know a lot of kids on this island, and they deserve better that to spend an hour on bus each way, each day, for a questionable educational performance that Lely offers. There are schools here on Marco from K through 8th grade, there's no reason it shouldn't continue.

Again, Tract K is history, let's focus on what's important, which are the remaining challenges to make this program the best it can be.

I would encourage you to come around and leave the dark side behind, and support a brighter future for the kids in your community. They are the future, and they need some positive energy, encouragement and support. They DO NOT NEED your negative, conspiracy-laden, I'm angry at this town type attitude because there's going to be a HS here. Please, get on board with the program, or keep it to yourself.

Written on Same school, new spot – Marco Island Academy to open in former Baptist church school location:

in response to Ocram:

Absolutely correct Islandeye,

They brought out the troops, Fossil, MarcoDefender, Marco97.........and now coming in from the rear of the pack, could it be, their very own, Klabzilatroll.

Oc / Eye - You guys need to ratchet things down here.

Despite your odd attempts to drum up some conspiracy, let's not lose sight that this is a grassroots effort to give the kids on this island a chance to have a continuing education opportunity in their community at the HS level. This is not a brainwash attempt to indoctrinate kids into some religion, which according to you, appears to be a horrible thing.

Are you really worried about students seeing a cross while in a building, where they are safe, focused on study, and attempting to build a brighter future through education. If that's the case, what's your proposal to remove all the religious symbols on the signage that all the local churches display, as we go to the grocery store on this island, or drive down the road to the beach. Let's apply your same warped logic on that question and see how you plan to solve that little hiccup.

Again, you are not part of the solution, so please quietly choose to send your kids off island to Lely and quit your conspiracy gripes. If you want to challenge the school leadership, do it objectively, tactfully and in a forum where you might get some respect for adding to the debate while focusing on how to solve some problems around here, as opposed to make new ones.

This island is not a better place because you are here, so reconsider your typical hate position of students who wish to be educated near their homes, and the good people on this island who wish to add to the island value by creating a top tier school in this district. Nothing good can come from your contributions to this subject, so you I would encourage you to move on. Make some room for people who care about the quality of life on Marco Island, obviously you're not one of them.

Written on Same school, new spot – Marco Island Academy to open in former Baptist church school location:

in response to Ocram:

Will you please lighten up with the expressions of the day like being part of the problem or part of the solution. It sounds like the "World Class" statements of last year meaningless as far as actual facts go.

I would like to know how you could possibly come up with a "complete school" of any kind with the list of teachers you have. I am not saying anything about them as people but their lack of experience leaves a great deal to be desired if a High School is to get off of the ground in the first place. How about getting some science, English and math teachers or will the music or art teachers be teaching that too? I think that is allowed under Florida Education Law and it looks like that will be the case here.

You have now listed another art or music teacher who recently graduated and is already being promoted by the Academy as being a mover and shaker in education. How about some classroom time before anyone can make those claims?

Not really nice to say that the smart people are funneling into their community because they want to be part of the solution. (There appears to be a greater number of people who are not going that way. What happened to "choice"? Now those others are no longer smart people?) Your claim is so far fetched because you have no solution but unsubstantiated claims that have yet to be proven or to get off of the ground in the first place and how could that be a "smart move"?

You see, you do not really see that you and your proponents are really part of the problem. Taking away from the public schools just to satisfy you own selfish interests. If you wanted to truly be part of the solution you would have funneled, as you call it, your efforts into making an existing public school the best it can be, for all of the students attending it not trying to make your own private school, so that your own do not have to mix with those "criminals" as one of your proponents proudly posted, with no denouncement from any other proponent, using public funds, for your limited number of students.

Now you are talking about having a school years from now when you have failed to provide one in the present. Why should anyone believe those kind of claims, intelligent or not?

You started over a year ago with a web site which appeared that you had an up and running Marco Island Academy that offered a "World Class Education". As time went on so did those outlandish claims. All you have now after a couple of years of energies of many good people is a enrollment no larger than three or four classes in a place that may or may not even be zoned for a public school.

Maybe in a few years there will be a High School on Marco, but I hope it will be better planned and thought out, along with true public support than what you are presently attempting to offer. At that time the students and parents will be able to be proud of what they have.

Oc - It's not clear to me what your problem is with the teachers, they are all experienced, certified and highly recommended. Share some details on your issues.

You continually say "you". I am not the HS.

I stand by my comment, the smart people are focused on the community HS solution. Not being for the HS doesn't preclude you from the smart people, but does show that you're committed to the community, and that's all good. All will be proven in time. As I've written, be patient.

MIA HS is a public school, so we are focused on the public school solution, in our neighborhood. There's nothing selfish about wanting a better result, in the community. If you're a Marco resident, you understand that. Do you really leave the island for everything you need on a daily basis, or you do you buy groceries, go to all your restaurants, buy your gas here, on Marco? It's no different. Kids need to be at school in their community. They get that the first 8 years of their student life, there's no reason why that shouldn't continue for secondary school.

Put any label you'd like on it. There's a public HS on this island. It's success is just a matter of time. Let the students and families decide for themselves what's best, there's no need for you to bring your negative view on it. Again, a fact, you are not part of the solution.

Written on Same school, new spot – Marco Island Academy to open in former Baptist church school location:

Oc - As I wrote, you're not part of the solution. Quit being part of the problem and accept the inevitable. The program will start in August, a small core of great teachers and students who want an education in their community.

With the recent negative news on Collier's academic ratings, the district will need all the help it can get. I am here to tell you, MIAHS will be an A rated HS in Collier. It's a feat not easily reached by other "real" schools, as you named them.

The smart people are funneling in their community, because they want to be part of the solution. You will eventually figure this out. It may be years from now, but there will be a day where you will have to admit it was the right thing for the Island students. Mark my words, there will be a day!

Written on Same school, new spot – Marco Island Academy to open in former Baptist church school location:

in response to Ocram:

Please try, for once, to be completely honest in your efforts to prove your point. For instance why are you saying that there are 111 students in 8th grade at the MICMS and then with the next breath said that there are almost 70 students enrolled, making it appear that those 70 are only from the 8th grade. Those 70 students, if there will be that many that finalize going to MIA, will be from two grade levels not one. Why are you not counting how many are available from 9th grade in your figures? How many are presently in the 9th grade to be added to your inaccurate intake rate? Is this, once again, your attempt to misrepresent the facts? Could it be that there are no 9th graders presently going to Lely who will be enrolling? If that is the case than say it.

We have not knocked the families who have entrusted their children to the MIA other that they may be making a big mistake in believing all that they are being told.

Your words, that there will be a jewel on Marco in years to come, may at some time come to pass, but it will not be headed up by you.

Maybe it will be headed by someone who trusts the opinion of the whole community more than their own personal wants.

I have another point to add to this which relates to the article above. How is it that the Academy can aquire the permission to use one Church (Baptist) for its school and at the same time having been denied by, what I believe, were deed restrictions, at the New Life Church????

Allowing something to happen and doing what is legally permissible is now an additional concern.

Have you or has anybody else, for that matter, checked completely into this irregularity?

Separation of Church and State can not be realistically part of your curriculum being that the Baptist Church will have its own religious icons prominately exposed for students of different religious backgrouds to be exposed to on a daily basis. Why are you so indifferent to their needs?

Oc - Agreed, I do not know the number of 10th grade entrants for MIA, therefore, can't comment on it. Once you find out, let us all know. The point is, for a new school, 70 is a pretty good start. Obviously, you're a "glass half empty" kind of person. So be it.

As far as what we and the families are being told, you cite for me what lies have been told. Let's start dealing with specifics, instead of broad generalities. Plus, remember that each parent has to make the choices that are best for them and their family. It's not appropriate or fair that we (the public, or you) try to parent for them.

Yes, it will be a jewel, and you're correct, it will not be headed up by me. I am helping in other ways, and it's not my objective to work in the K-12 school system. I will stick with college level, it's a much better fit for me. My personal wants are to see the kids in this community get a great high school education, in this community. My own children have quite a long time before they will reach the HS level. I'm patient. I know MIA will be top tier by then.

As far as this church situation and deed restrictions, you've fallen in the trap of being a mouse. Don't chase the cheese. Find out in advance where it will be and meet it there. Deed restrictions are part of most zoned areas, it doesn't have anything to do with churches, just what occupants are allowed to have on & not have on their property. You need to brush up there Oc. Plus, that ship has sailed, New Life is out and the Baptist Church grounds are the start up location.

Church & State have been integrated into this country for a long time. Think back to your history. The US was founded on that freedom, along with many others. Those who talk about this subject believe there's a problem here, but there's not. It's one set of values helping another set of values. It's all good. The rising tide raises all boats. Start looking at the positives here, as opposed to the red herrings. It's a building, not a portable building, be happy for what is, and start becoming part of the solution. I'm focused on the education needs of our community, aren't you. Spiritual needs can be addressed at home. It's just a place to learn. Please stop thinking everything is a conspiracy, and nefarious.

Written on Same school, new spot – Marco Island Academy to open in former Baptist church school location:

There are 111 kids in the 8th grade class at MICMS. Enrollment at MIA is roughly 70. For a new school, especially at the HS level, those intake rates are pretty strong. Again, let's bring some attention to the positive. These families are entrusting a lot to this new MIA HS. Let's not knock them down. They could use your skeptical, but objective point of view. Mark my words, this will be a jewel of Marco Island in years to come. It's unfortunate there are some very selfish & negative people shouting out in this forum.

If you don't have anything nice to say...

Written on Same school, new spot – Marco Island Academy to open in former Baptist church school location:

in response to Ocram:


I think I have heard all there is to hear regarding a World Class Academy or whatever it is going to be called in a few months.

I am really wondering how you plan to have 65 students being taught by 6 to 8 teachers at each grade level. That means about 14 teachers for 65 students. Less than 5 students per teacher.

Oh, I see it will be more like 10 teachers teaching classes of 6 to 7 students maybe like the old school houses of the 1800s where a teacher taught several levels at the same time.

And by the way I will never be bitter if young people get a real education from real certified, credentialed teachers and staff. Why I am truly annoyed by is the absolute waste of energies, time, money that could have been funneled into a "real" school like Lely, not someone's hallucination and personal selfishness.

Oc - Every teacher must be certified in order to instruct at the K - 12 level in Florida. So let's put that to rest. As for the numbers, the start of a new organization is always slow and challenging. Should we just abandon such endeavors because of this, or because of haters, who have nothing positive to add? Where would we be as a nation if the pioneers thought "Well, there's not to many of us here, and things will be tough the first few years, yeah, maybe we should pack up (ie. give up) and go back". Where would Marco Island be if that happened? You'd be leaving in a swamp by yourself, being miserable, as you are, and then you'd really have something to complain about.

Give the organization a chance. I think you will be pleasantly surprised in a short amount of time. You know, there were people just like you griping 10+ years ago about a new school on Marco called Marco Island Charter Middle School. Look at them now, the most exemplary school in all of the district.

You're either part of the solution, or part of the problem, please stop being part of the problem.

Written on Same school, new spot – Marco Island Academy to open in former Baptist church school location:

All great things take time. While you continue to gripe about everything you can think of, the MIA will be working smart and working hard to get an excellent program up and running. Check back in a few years when you're far more bitter and the success of the Academy is far sweeter.

Written on PHOTOS: Nest Fest soars with scores of supporters:

Oc - Appears you have again, avoided answering the question.

Written on PHOTOS: Nest Fest soars with scores of supporters:

This is pathetic. Prioritizing eagles over children. Why don't the other eagle nests on this island have equivalent advocacy by this organization? There's an easy and obvious answer, and it's not as noble as it appears.

Written on Guest Commentary: More Marco Island Academy updates:

in response to RayPray:

Perhaps the educational revolution now brainstormed by DOCTOR Pellant will comprise transforming the Marco Apartheid Academy into a totally online High School, whose students will never suffer the indignity of leaving their bedrooms....

Ray - More destructive comments. Please, be considerate.

I find it interesting when people rip into other people who are educated and experienced. Obviously, you must have a PhD as well. Otherwise, it wouldn't seem you're really in a reasonable position to criticize.

Please, feel free to share you extended educational experience and extensive post graduate degree accomplishments. As you put it in another blog article, credentials are important.

Written on Guest Commentary: Updates about the Marco Island Academy:

in response to Ocram:

Marco Defender,

These are all the "credentials' I need.

Choice---------------------------------“ The proponent's choice, not anyone else’s.”

14 miles-------------------------------“A distance which is longer for my kids to travel than for your kids to travel."

World Class---------------------------“So over used and not verifiable.” (added March 2011, no longer World Class, just an "experimental" charter school)

Volunteer------------------------------“Anyone who asks a question.”

Community Support-----------------“Any group spoken to with or without their consent to be listed as such.”

Letter of Recommendation--------- “Friends writing nice things about friends.”

Infrastructure-------------------------“What infrastructure? Those costs don’t count, anyway.”

Separation of Church and State----“Let’s pretend that Law does not exist.”
Added 11/15/10 We could NOT succeed the first time so lets try to get our lawyers to get around this issue.

Commandeer------------------------- “See Ms. Watt’s letter of recommendation: last line of paragraph 4. “……..overseeing the design of the school and commandeering her “army” of over 200 volunteers.”
Note: see definition of volunteer above.

255 out of 17,000---------------------“This constitutes Community Support?”
And apparantly this constitutes the Majority of the Population living on Marco in some peoples minds. (I was pointed to on March 16, 2011 by Marco Defender that I was in the Minority)

Community Vote---------------------“That which you do not want to have in case it does not go your way.
(added Feb. 2011, I guess we are getting that referendum, finally)

Largest City in Florida without a High School of their own.......Proven to be another falsehood because there are at least 3 other Cities with higher populations in Florida without their own high School. Most of these cities also have a much higher student population than Marco has.

Child Hater.....(aka Old person, with one foot in the grave} added March 2011. "Idiots", People not for the High School on Marco according to one proponant blogger.

"I NEVER EVER LOSE, EVER!".....The rallying call of one very outspoken proponent posted several months ago on this Blog.

TRACT of 10/15/10 Rumors have it that it is back in the running, once again. Don't let the silence regarding this issue lull you into thinking that it is not being presently discussed. (added February 2011, Taken officially out of play by the Marco Island Eagle Sanctuary and "SIGNED OFF" by the CCSB).

EAGLES.....How can we find a way to have their "lease" run out?

MOSQUITO SPRAY.....A necessary item to have along with books and paper.

Teacher Credentials and Experience....We do not need to publish that. The public should ASSUME that we are doing the right thing.

Doctorate in Education....6 weeks in school, the remainder on the internet.

Field trip....Accross road to Mangroves we will go!.

Oc - Bottom line, there's no need for community approval for a school that is compulsory in the state of Florida. HS age kids must go to school, by law. Hell, it's the reason that Charter Law exists here. If there's community demand, and funding supports it, you can sign up with the local school district and satisfy all their requirements (along with some silly monkey drills) and earn a charter contract. MIA HS just did this. That's fact.

If think it will fail, that's fine, you're entitled to your opinion. It's very unlikely, but if you can sleep better with this thought, that's fine. Whatever floats your boat.

All your other bullet points are moot, especially all the volunteer comments. That's history, get over it.

MI has a high school, you people against it will come to accept it. You don't have to like it, but it will have students starting in August and only expected to get better each year. If you struggle with this, I would recommend counseling or chemical therapy. You choose what suits you best.

Good luck with that.

Written on Guest Commentary: Updates about the Marco Island Academy:

in response to Ocram:

Marco Defender,

Once again you do not answer the questions people ask. Just spin something that contributes absolutely nothing, information wise, to the public.

Why did you say that other people are weak minded? It was not mentioned in the questions being asked. Is that something akin to them also being called idiots, recently? All it shows is your animosity of others who do not agree with you.

What does a birth certificate from Hawaii have to do with any of this?

Oc - If there were actually reasonably considered questions, it would be worthwhile to respond. Yes, I suppose the truth is that I do have animosity for bloggers who clearly are against the program, but offer no value with their blog contributions. The labels used are earned, but not because I brought attention to that fact. All these attacks about questioning the figures, questioning the credentials, etc. Your written contributions make it appear that you don't believe anything written about the MIA HS. That's not constructive input, it's destructive. Go verify what is questionable in your mind and then we can have an objective debate about it.

I'll do a better job of refraining from the poorly shared labels of some. I agree, it's not really ideal.

So, speaking of open questions. Can you share your credentials now? Verifiable please.

I'm sorry the Hawaii thing went over your head. Just a poor attempt to link some political humor in the mix.

Written on Guest Commentary: Updates about the Marco Island Academy:

in response to islandeye1#236971:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Island - Fundraising is not my concern, raising awareness with facts and objective input to the limited minded is my concern. So, no, in response to your question.

Written on School board lowers number of credits needed to for incoming freshmen graduate:

in response to MarcoTrojan:

Marco Defender, I disagree with the boards decision as well, I myself will be earning 31 or more credits by the end of my senior year. I do however oppose the singling out of Lely that Ms. Herzili seems to so proudly perform. Some of my anger also comes from her previous posts were she labels an entire school by an FCAT grade. You are absolutely right, it does come down to the person, not some standardized test. People have gone to Lely and been accepted into some of the greatest universities in the world, and there is absolutly nothing wrong with the education presented there. The status quo I wish to challenge here is the wrongful bad reputation of my school.

Trojan - Well put. I agree with you and understand. For students who are engaged and perform well, they will be successful no matter school they go to. I suspect you fall well into that category. For the large majority however, the extra help and guidance during critical high school years will make or break their future, with college and subsequent professional and career options. That's really where the labeling and single grade factor play a more important role. If you're an average student in an average school, odds are against your future success potential. If you're average in a high quality school (by grade rating), I think the opportunities to be successful are considerably greater. That's conclusion is based on my own personal experience, as well as others in a similar situation to my own.

Thanks for your inputs to the forum. I agree that all opinions are valuable here, particularly when they are constructive and based on experience and vetted results. Your experience surely qualifies.

Good luck to you, keep working smart and surpass the expectation. There's no doubt you will do well.

Written on School board lowers number of credits needed to for incoming freshmen graduate:

in response to MarcoTrojan:

Marrianne, please explain, I don't believe my "C rated education" has enabled me to comprehend your bigoted statement.

Trojan - This is not a rip on you, it's a rip on the leadership (lack of) at the higher level. Unfortunately, their decision degrades the value of your Lely diploma, so I would hope you would be a little angry about this too.

It appears you're pretty active with all the Lely / MIA HS discussion. That's good. It's all about the person, what you do with your education and how you make positive contributions to the people and community around you, so please don't think you are being singled out negatively as a pro-Trojan. You should be proud. But be proud and diligent, so don't be afraid to question the status quo and challenge these people to perform better.

Written on School board lowers number of credits needed to for incoming freshmen graduate:

Nice. Not enough graduating HS students. I know, let's lower the bar and let them graduate with less. Not just less credit, but less preparation, less skill, less knowledge and less prepared for the real world. Who cares...our graduation rate will surely increase. What a nice benefit. It will appear like were doing a good job, when really, we expect and demand less from our non performing students. Way to set a TERRIBLE example.

Hey CCSB - here's a news flash. You expect less, you will surely get less. By the way, remediation isn't a negative factor, it's actually indicative of problems. Why don't you consider solving the problem as opposed to lowering the already low standard.

More proof of a leadership vacuum at the school board. They all say that want to raise the hours, but they don't vote it that way. Learning to be little politicians I think. Boy, that's scary.

Written on Guest Commentary: Updates about the Marco Island Academy:

in response to RayPray:

From the Gunga Jane Potemkin High School web site:

"Mr. Pellant will have his Doctorate in Education with Minnesota licensures as a Superintendent, Principal, Director of Special Education, Coach, and Teacher. These credentials have prepared him for the knowledge and abilities needed to be successful at Marco Island Academy."

Notice the mangled verb tense obfuscation from "will have" and "have prepared him" from this "world class" establishment?

From: Lakes Inter

"Sr. Chris finished with his Doctorate in Education (all but dissertation) from St. Mary's University in Minneapolis, Minnesota."

How can this doctorate be finished without the thesis being submitted?

Is this thesis written yet? It is nowhere online.

Will it be submitted, challenged, and defended?

Defended physically? Metaphysically?

Submitted, as is today customary for attribution check, to

When then is 'Mr.' Pellant expected to metamorphose into 'Dr.' Pellant?

RayPray - Wow, it looks like you discovered it. Obviously, this whole thing is a plot to confuse the weak minded. Appears like you foiled it.

Then again, your entire posting is full of questions. I take it back, you definitely are confused.

If you dig deeper, you might even find out he has a non original birth certificate from Hawaii. What a conspiracy.

Clearly you're against the school, so why do you care about the principal? You guys need to get a real hobby and enjoy life a little. HINT - Focus on family, you can't go wrong.

Written on Guest Commentary: Updates about the Marco Island Academy:

in response to Ocram:


What absolute audacity you have to question my qualifications and credentials if what Ray Pray said is true.

You appear to have hired a person to be principal with no "high school experience" and a doctoral degree work from nothing more than an an "ON LINE DEGREE SCHOOL?

Is this what you consider, top notch, qualifications anc credentials for your "World Class Academy"?

Is this the person that will be leading our student's programs in passing FCATs and SATs?

No wonder it took you so long to come up with an answer/excuse about what the experiences and credentials of those 9 teacher finalists, I had asked about a month ago. Where do their degrees come from? What will their experiences be in?

It took you days to post the principal's credentials. Did the CCSB have nothing to say about that? Why is it, truly, taking so long for the credentials of the teacher's to be posted?

The parents need to know all of the facts, not just those you deem fit to publish, in order to make a educated decision.

Ocram - I told you before, to ensure progress, audacity is a must and beneficial in these controversial times. Yes, I do question your credentials, which you haven't yet shared. Why am I not surprised.

Surely, it's not wise to put too much weight on RayPray's input. It's a clear indication that you both need to get your facts right.

We live in a digital world, your participation in this forum is strong proof of that. Don't enjoy and benefit from the immediacy of global access and communication and then question it's use as a modern and effective learning medium. Would you rather mail in your inputs to these stories via USPS?

Just like your blog name, you got it all backwards again.

Get with the program people. With that news story, Collier School District has officially signed off on the MIA HS, and it's stay. Time to get on board with the benefits or keep your minority opinions to yourself.

If you want justification of the staff, get to work and find out. Don't stand around and cry that officials from MIA haven't responded to your lame blog calls for validation. They surely aren't reading nor care to read your lacking point of view.

Looks like you will have to accept defeat on this one. MIA HS is officially as CCSD school. And, get ready for some strong performance over the next few years. You might consider moving down the road to Everglades City, you might feel more at home there.

Written on Guest Commentary: Updates about the Marco Island Academy:

in response to Ocram:


Just seperating the facts from the fluff.

Honesty and transparency for all to see, even if some of you do not like it.

Oc - Is that what you're doing? I don't think you're qualified. If you think you are, post your verifiable credentials please.

Written on Guest Commentary: Updates about the Marco Island Academy:

in response to Ocram:

Marco Defender,

From Lazy and stubborn but persistant:

Two weeks ago I asked about the teacher's hired. You did not say then that they were NOT hired. You insisted that I and others come into the store front to get the information. You could have answered my question, honestly, then. Why the charade?

So you do not have the 9 positions filled as of yet but Jane's article and presentation last month said that there were 60 teacher's who applied for 9 positions. Saying that to a crowd was just an example of not really telling all of the facts just those that would make people believe something that it was not. She could have said then, that the positions were NOT filled, but left that to the imagination of the crowd. Could these teachers chosen not be certified? Could they not have the necessary experience to teach high school, never mind advanced placement classes. Still you have not answered those vital questions and once again, beat around the bush.

How can you or Jane be so sure that what you will be offering will be "state of the art" or "world class" if you do not have the staff lined up? You do not have a place to call home, you do not even have the grants for funding to pay for your hoped for promises.

Yes, you will say anything that is possible, make people think that they are getting something, when you know for yourself that the glass is "maybe" half full.

I have "read up" up on the things people are attempting to do. Very nice that they have spent so much time committed to an experiment that has not been, even remotely, fulfilled as of yet.

The problem is parents who send their kids to the Academy should be aware that they are part of an experiment, which has little to no basis in fact, except for promises and cloaked answers to questions.

Oc - Wow, everything is a conspiracy with you. You fantasize far too deviously and go in a direction of deception that never even crosses the minds of the smart and dedicated people at the MIA school. Time to up the meds.

The info on the teachers is new to me as of yesterday, which is why you hadn't read it before. Another conspiracy to keep PUBLIC information from you and the rest of the public. What to do?

By definition, a charter school is an experimental school. You refer to it negatively, but that just proves how lacking you are when it comes to how well this was conceived and how well it will progress once it's up and running. You want some proof, look within, at the Charter Middle School. They are the only middle school in Collier County to make AYP. Oh yeah, it's a charter school. NONE of the regular public middle schools made it in the entire school district here. Looks to me like the experiment is working. By the way, those MICMS kids will be going to MIAHS. What kind of performance do you think they be bringing with them and putting on the scoreboard?! If that's not proof, I don't know what you expect.

I speak the truth, not "anything possible". All my information posted is verifiable. Posting anything else here is just counter productive to the importance and value of this program, so I won't let my "interested parent comments" veer from fact and truth. The few remaining oppo's would have a field day if I did.

Why don't you get on board this excellent program and be part of the solution and something great for the kids on this island. If you CHOOSE not to, please do us a favor and keep you conspiracy theories to yourself. You're not adding value, and really, that's what we need. I know it's too much to ask, but I must ask silly questions at times. I wonder where I learned such a silly skill? Thanks Oc.

Written on Guest Commentary: Updates about the Marco Island Academy:

in response to 33yearresident:

MarcoDefender - MIA wouldn't make something up??? HELLO! Where have you been???

33 - Easy to point fingers. Go get the facts yourself, definitely don't take it at face value.

How do you people get by in life without checking your own facts?! C'mon, do your homework.

Challenge them if you must, but don't sit back and just rattle complaints. Earn it! You don't seem like those "entitled" folks who want it all with no effort or work of their own. Get to work, get the right education for yourself.

Written on Guest Commentary: Updates about the Marco Island Academy:

in response to Ocram:

“The first year, the maximum number of students accepted into the school is 250.”
What is the minimum number needed in order to fulfil State requirements in September?

“The Academy is a public school that is open free to all students in the district.”
Why are parents asked to donate funds or time if it is free?

“There are many costs associated with the start-up of the school.”
What happened to those “grants’’ that the Academy was almost sure of getting and will definitely need in order to fulfil acedemic promises already made?

“Over the past two years, the academy has made many changes, but the mission has remained the same.”
Does this mean that promises made can not be accomplished?

“The academy is committed to offering your child a choice for a world-class public education.”
Committed to offering is different that previous claims of actually getting a “World Class” education. Wouldn’t you say?

“The school will feature a small-school atmosphere with individualized attention and hands-on learning opportunities for your child.”
Why is that better than a regular school atmosphere with all the amenities available for a complete education?

“Above all, we will put your child's needs above all others in order to ensure his or her success.”
What does this mean? What does above all others mean. Who are those others that do not get the great treatment?

“The academy has set high expectations for our students and our staff. We will strive to help your child reach his or her fullest potential and will not settle for anything less.”
Setting high expectations and merely striving is quite different than actually achieving them.

Please post the credentials and experience of the teachers under STAFF on your website as you did for the Principal and Coach, or do you still consider that not important enough for potential interested folks to know about? You can not get away from full transparency.

Oc - Your lazy and stubborn ways continue. Well, I did my homework once again, where you wouldn't. To finally address your question, the reason those others aren't posted under staff is because they have not been hired yet. From what I was told, those teachers received letters of intent to be hired. I don't know why, but that's the answer. I personally think it's because they are working with the school district on their school contract, which is not yet done but that's just my opinion. I know you won't like it (big surprise), but there's your answer.

On your other news questions, their charter application says minimum is 62 students, so they are not far off now.

Donations are important because state law does not allow tax funds to be used to pay for the building or land for a charter school. Those have to be paid for privately. This is good for taxpayers like you...and me.

Grants take a long time, at least that's what a friend told me. She works in the grant department for a county community college, so that's reliable information. With budget cuts everywhere, they are also apparently harder to get now than in the democrat hey day past.

The rest of your questions are theme based. The research shows that there are many differentiating factors to a high performance, quality education. A small class size, intimate support from peers and instructors and a hands on approach are part of that solution.

This group is really doing some great things. You might try and read up a little bit and educate yourself on the details.

Written on Guest Commentary: Updates about the Marco Island Academy:

in response to freedomofspeech1:

Nearly fifty...i.e. about 30.....hardly on their way....dont expect many more enrollments. Most if not all of the kids at MICMS have already enrolled at LELY!

Freedom - I don't think the MIA leadership would make this up, knowing all their records are subject to public review under the sunshine law. Far too risky for you opponents to latch onto.

I agree with you, Lely will get a bunch, but so will MIA, which is supported by the figures already. Remember, it's just March, and most haven't taken the step to register yet. In consideration, I bet you will see another 100+ before the first day.

Sorry it's far better than you hoped.

Written on Guest Commentary: Updates about the Marco Island Academy:

Island I - I heard that only a few will need to be moved (not removed) as only the front part of their property will be used. It seems like the permit is completed, but I don't know if that is fact yet. I'm waiting to hear back.

Nearly 50 enrolled already. It looks like parents understand the value and differentiation that this program will bring.

Written on Tract K out of play for Marco charter high:

As I read the last few exchanges it's starting to look like a comedy routine between the two most active bloggers. What are you, neighbors or cousins? You both need to work on your act a little, it's very predictable.

Personally, I don't think the HS people are focused on trying to impress you or run to fulfill your need for information. Surely they are fully aware that you will not choose to send you children or grand children to the HS. OK, so be it. We get it, there are some of you who don't get it. That's fine. Each of us can make a choice, Lely or MIA. But we all have a choice because of their efforts. As previously reported, there are already 30+ students enrolled, so obviously many are convinced this model and offering will suit their needs.

In consideration, there's no need to bash these people who are just trying to put a competitive and rewarding HS experience for kids on this island. From what I know they are all volunteers. No one gets paid for any of the work done to support the MIA. Try and show a little consideration for all their hard work to help Marco show more value and put up a strong showing on student performance and academics.

I seriously don't understand some of you. How does bringing them down, pump you up?

Written on Tract K out of play for Marco charter high:

in response to 20_Days:

I have been reading the blogs (recent and past) and as a parent, am also concerned that it has been requested that the credentials be listed for
the new staff to only be ignored by the MIA. They say to come in to the storefront--well, that really does not tell you anything - just continues the "world class" promise without the
specifics to back it up. There seems to be a lot of talk, but no substance. One proponant on the blog said that any discussion of this topic is moot! How can a discussion of relevant information to parents be moot? What exactly is is it that the MIA does not want us to know?

Pilar - Accuracy is very important. Ocram's view is moot, not the information.

As mentioned, information on the hired people for the HS is public record. Call and ask for the information. I don't believe it's the MIA people's responsibility to post information in response to a blog request. There's a right and accepted method to get this information, just because it's not posted here, it doesn't mean it's not important or a neglected action. If you want to know, the information is available to you. But, as with all good things, you need to put a forth a little effort.

Written on Tract K out of play for Marco charter high:

in response to Ocram:

Marco Defender,

The audacity of your statement "The truth is often unforgiving" when requests for honest informational postings are ignored by the proponents.

People who disagree with you, when they feel their world is being threatened and you need to approach their interpretation with a legal threat, to "attempt" to prove you are correct, while you are calling them "idiots". (It may be a surprise to you but my attorney says that it appears that you are incorrect in your interpetation of the deed.)

An earlier, quite internally informed of the workings of the Academy, proponent, obnoxiously uses the "I never, ever lose, ever!" statement.

And you are asking what my feelings are about Tract K or what my button is?

Quite honestly, well that button is people who twist the truth, no matter whom it may hurt, in order to get their way.

Oc - Unfortunately, you need to show a little audacity around here to be an advocate for local resident students. I actually consider that a compliment. So a "thank you" is in order on my part. Really, thank you.

What a threat, to put a school on school district land. How crazy of me. What planet are you from? As someone else wrote previously, common sense doesn't appear to be all that common.

If you want information, it's all public record, so go do your homework. Your laziness doesn't constitute an issue on my part. I don't have the time to remediate your situation or ineptitude. I want you to see this great opportunity for what it is, as opposed to your odd conspiracy theory, but I think my energy with you has topped out. Your cup is full, and clearly there's no more space for my input and perspective on why this MIA HS program will be a positive for the island, the students and the community. You'll have to graduate to the understanding on your own, in due time, as I know you will...eventually.

There are always winners and losers in any situation. It's unfortunate, but I don't get to make those rules of life. I would like to see everyone win, but right now with Tract K, the students (children, mind you) have lost. What a shame. Let down by the supposed stewards of their educational interest, the Collier School Board. What a travesty. It's not like they wanted the land for some elite and undeserving private school or lame private pre-school or after-school / montessori program. It's for a public school HS, for all to benefit from.

The fact that you are favorable on that Tract K result is shameful on you. I hope you can live with that. What's the world coming to when people value animals more than human beings. Children no less, who don't have a voice or ability to fight for their rights from someone like you.

Yes, shameful fits you well. Good luck with that. With this subject, you've finally and officially rendered yourself moot.

Written on Tract K out of play for Marco charter high:

in response to Ocram:

C'mon Marco Defender you said earlier today the Tract K is out of the picture, why are you still refering to it as though it is NOT out of the picture above? Which is it?

Why should the majority reconsider its long term gain? Maybe you should re-consider yours.

Oc - You brought up Tract K, so I commented on the subject. It's a done deal, yes. However, IMHO, the school board broke the law and I'm hopeful it will get rectified. So first one is fact, and second is my personal, wishful thinking.

Again, what's your interest in Tract K? It seems to be a button for you.

Also, I'm sorry to call those Tract K residents what they are, but the truth is often unforgiving. Many of those vocal residents flip flopped on the solar / school deal, so there's no respect to be had for that "special" group.

Written on Tract K out of play for Marco charter high:

in response to Ocram:


"So, you still didn't answer why you want it to fail. Seems you're more a part of the problem than the solution. If that's true, then let it go. If you think it won't do well, that's fine, so noted. No value being a hater. You say you would've supported the program at the Y, why a new opinion because the real estate has changed? This would indicate you have some special interest in Tract K. What is it? The location doesn't determine whether an organization will have an honest reputation, where are you coming from on this?

Tract K was school land, it was the logical choice, why is it that people freak out about putting a school on school board land? It's simple and logical. People who own land adjacent to Tract K knew that was school board land when they bought. I have no sympathy for them if they are upset about putting a school on school board land. What kind of idiot couldn't see that coming? Anyway, Tract K is done with, so it's not important anymore. I'm over it, can you get over it?

Now you are calling people idiots who live around Tract K. and do not want a High School on it! There are many things that could have been put on the land other than a High School.

The deed specifically says "school district use" not specifically for a school. Let alone a High School with all the accoutrements that come with a high school.

MarcoDefender, I love living on Marco and "Most" of the people who live here. I am sorry that you do not feel the same way. I fail to see, though, the purpose of the use of the word "hate" in yours or the "late" Klabautermann's blogs. It seems that anyone who disagrees with your point of view is now an idiot or a hater. Not very becoming of you, I would venture to say.

I did not come here not knowing where I was going nor forced by reasons of circumstance. It appears by your comments that you failed to see and fully understand those, very important, considerations when moving somewhere.

BTW the information I requested, teacher's credentials" should be available to all parents and one should not have to go out of their way to find it out. People did not have to go out of their way to hear about the principal, did they now?

If the school is for a "great many people" well I feel that there are a "greater" many more people that prefer it not be on Marco. Show some verifiable numbers.

You see I can not believe a word you say about Tract K being done with, afterall it was a major proponent, last June, that apparently said at a realtor's meeting that it was a "Done Deal" back then and little birdie makes me think that person could very possibly have been you or was it the proponent who posted the "I never, ever lose, ever" statement? Oh I forgot, you do not know who that was.

Oc - Let's be clear, if you bought a house next to school district owned land and didn't believe there would one day be a school there, I think idiot is a fair label. That's idiot by choice, not because I said so. Their behavior and position of "shock" earned them that label. Please refrain from manipulating the context, you're discounting your own credibility. Remember, these are the same people who picketed Tract K just a few short years ago and said "we don't want a solar park, this land is destined for a school". It's in the archives, look it up and get the facts. What an about face those residents pulled once a school was actually interested in making use of that land. I question their integrity big time. And you tell me my motives are selfish, good comedy.

Oh yes, the fine print of the deed. OK, would you prefer a school bus depot be built there? How would the locals feel about that? Please share what "many" other things might you want there? What other uses are there for school board land? Most school board land are occupied by...schools. Wow, isn't that incredible!?

The only school not built on this island is a HS, what else should they put there? I know you're smarter than that. By the way, how is an eco-park, "school district use"? Already, another violation to the intent and letter of the deed to what that land should be used for. The school board violated state law in approving and arranging that lease. It may get rectified in time. We'll have to see.

I do love it here, and want to make it better. That means progress, and those important parts of a community that make it great. Ironically, great schools are a large part of that greatness. Do you disagree?

If there's a majority who don't want the school, to your point, I haven't seen those numbers. I do see a few limited opponents here, but it's a vocal minority for sure.

If you want proof of successful demand and schooling interest on this island, you need look no farther than Barfield Elementary and MICMS. By the way, the middle school is now at capacity. Appears the demand is so great for that school, they must hold a lottery next year. Those numbers are verifiable, by the way. Look it up, both on the Collier school district website. Should I point out that MICMS is the ONLY middle school in the entire county that achieved their AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) goal. Yes, the only one. All others in Collier failed to make that goal. That is verifiable too. It's a community school, filled with community resident students. It's the demand that good school programs create, and MIA HS will carry that tradition for HS aged students.

As for your last paragraph, you incorrectly think I am that person you continue to refer to. Sorry, if I seem lost each time you mention it, it's because I don't know anything about that detail.

Written on Tract K out of play for Marco charter high:

in response to Tigertail:

This HS is going to fail because, their are not enough HS MARCO school children to support the need for another HS in Collier County. Another reason is the fact that there is not a large enough parcel of land to build a new HS on Marco. Even tract k (which you are not going to get) is too small to have a fully functioning HS. The MIA will not offer the multiple athletic programs needed, nor the cultural diversity that kids need to experience at this age. Lastly, the tax payers on Marco do not want to have their taxes raised to pay for this new HS. The private donations will run dry, then who is going to pay for the up keep, teacher salaries, utilities, books, computers, buses, etc....

Tiger - I disagree that the school will not succeed, but understand your view. If you are basing that view on student count, the numbers are working against you. Each class in elementary and middle school is about 125 students. If Marco doesn't grow (not likely) and each student chooses MIA, then the school will be at the 500 student limit already. Sure that will take a few years, but I have no doubt it will happen. It's just a matter of time.

Tract K was on the school districts plan for a HS in this decade until recently (but that plan was suddenly removed mid-2010), so there's clearly enough room there.

The school will offer programs that are in demand. True, you probably won't see football there, but if that's important to all the future NFL players on Marco, they can choose Lely. Bottom line, just look at Mackle and Winterberry on a Saturday to see how sports active the kids are on this island. A HS isn't less successful if it doesn't offer every single sports and extra curricular club under the sun. It's going to be a niche school, and a large part of that niche will be excellent academics. What parent doesn't want that?

A community school is a representation of the community, so diversity will be as great as the residents surrounding that school. It's not clear to me why so many feel the need to be immersed in diversity to appreciate it or be successful. You're a little too PC and we need to get back to what's important, which are academic subjects and the total HS experience. You don't need football and all other major sports to get that total experience for future college students. The US is 25th of 30 industrial nations in academic performance, we need to be a lot more active in prioritizing academic excellence. Wouldn't you agree? Do you have a better plan to improve from 25th place?

State law does not allow taxes to be levied to pay for a charter school, so I wouldn't be concerned about that. If you are concerned, you need to ping your senator and state congressperson. HS education is compulsory in Florida, so the taxpayers don't have a choice in whether or not a HS can reside here. Just be thankful that your county taxes for education are now staying on the island, instead of getting lost in Naples.

C'mon people, Marco needs your support for the betterment of the future and this island. If you don't want to be a part of it, reconsider your own long term plan.

Written on Tract K out of play for Marco charter high:

in response to islandeye1#236971:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Island - thanks. I don't know about off island students. Call up the MIA office and ask. My personal opinion is that this is a community based school, so primary focus is the local community (on island). I'd like to know the answers too, but it's outside my decision circle.

I think you're right about the private school theory, but that's probably a positive considering that private school performance results are better and more cost effective than public school results. So, that's a comment that really represents a compliment to the program.

My goal is to understand why people don't feel as positive as I do about this opportunity for the HS students here on Marco, and I want to engage in productive and objective discussion on this subject, with proponents and opponents. Considering, I want to stay up to speed with who engages me for the same objective. Bottom line, the HS years are the most impressionable and formative times for these kids, so they deserve our full force engagement to make sure all the right things are happening and right information is out there. We owe it to these kids. I'm sure any parent would agree?

Written on Tract K out of play for Marco charter high:

in response to Ocram:

There are more reasons that the system is not working than having your own kids taught by teachers, (Whom you have still failed to provide the credentials and experience for).

The system is not working, for a good part, due to the break-up in the family, where parents are more interested on focusing on other things than their own children. The system is not working because kids are not kept to task at home by parents who let their kids call the shots. The system is not working because kids do not learn the basics. The system is not working because "some teachers" are let to get by because of politics or poorly chosen administrators. The system is not working because kids think that sports are the only thing they may have to do well in school in order to make real money.

It is not the system, it is how some parents think that they can do a better job developing a charter school rather than helping the existing schools with better funding and honest efforts by the parents to make improvements for all of the kids that need that help.

I would rather my tax dollars be spent on experienced teachers and administrators rather than a "fantasy" unproven program. I would not expose my children to such a program until it has proven itself. Not just some pie in the sky unproven claims.

Enrollment. Thank you for your answer. If it was already what you would like it to be, you would have said that, with numbers, and not question me on what I was told. My guess you have a long way to go.

Why would I like to see it fail?

Maybe if you cared about other people rather than your own personal interests you would know the answer to that question? Obviously, it escapes you.

I, probably, would have supported the school if it had been at the "Y". It could have developed a foodhold and possibly an honest reputation. Once you went on to "Tract K" you went beyond helping your kids but negatively effecting the lives of people you did not know or obviously care about.

You still fail to see that issue as important. You are welcome!

Oc - You're right, there are more reasons, like having a local school solution.

Make no mistake, if you want credentials for the teachers, get to working on it. It's your need, not mine. I'm confident in the outcome, if you're not, do your homework. So, fix that failure of yours, I don't need more information to make the right choice.

I disagree about the system, but agree that families are key to the success. This is the primary reason the school needs to be in the community, close to the family, which is why that goal is pushed so hard.

Everything new is unproven, but smart work, collectively efforts and dedication will bring the right result, just wait and see. What's great about your comment is that it reiterates your ability to choose. Having the MIA gives more choice to everyone, and you're welcome to stick with Lely, each of us has that choice.

I care a great deal beyond my own family. In fact, this school is for a great many people, which isn't about my personal interest in anyway. My kids won't be in HS for many years to come, but I'm supportive of this program because I know it will be awesome, and in our community.

So, you still didn't answer why you want it to fail. Seems you're more a part of the problem than the solution. If that's true, then let it go. If you think it won't do well, that's fine, so noted. No value being a hater. You say you would've supported the program at the Y, why a new opinion because the real estate has changed? This would indicate you have some special interest in Tract K. What is it? The location doesn't determine whether an organization will have an honest reputation, where are you coming from on this?

Tract K was school land, it was the logical choice, why is it that people freak out about putting a school on school board land? It's simple and logical. People who own land adjacent to Tract K knew that was school board land when they bought. I have no sympathy for them if they are upset about putting a school on school board land. What kind of idiot couldn't see that coming? Anyway, Tract K is done with, so it's not important anymore. I'm over it, can you get over it?

Written on Tract K out of play for Marco charter high:

in response to freedomofspeech1:

30 students for 2 grades???
That is a total waste of money to even consider a school!
The school board needs to pull this charter before they even get going!
There should be a minimum number of at least 100 to even open. How many teachers do you think they will need?? 2 or 3??
This is a warning to all Marco for the hills! Better for LELY!

Freedom - 30 students with 6 months until enrollment ends, I don't see the problem. If they continue at 30 per month, the school will be near capacity. Be patient, great things take time.

Written on Council workshop: City considers building expansion at Marco Island's Mackle Park:

in response to RayPray:

Here is the true irony of the Gunga Jane high school project.

Whenever I go to the library, it is well used.

Same for Mackle Park, always seem to be enough kids there.

However, the museum -- built with taxpayer $$$ to satisfy a handful of establishment characters -- has no reason to exist, few exhibits, and no prospect of future traffic.

I mean, how many people do you know who moved down here or vacation here because they care anything about the Calusa Indians of Grandma Barfield?

If instead of this foolish museum, this lot had been used for the proposed High School, it would have been just the right site.

There would have been no eagle upsetting issues. The kids would then have the library just across the street, and the Mackle Park gym, etc 5 minutes away.

The best solution for the empty museum is to turn it into the 'Calusa Casino' The proceeds from this gaming venu can then be used for various kid programs....

RayPray - I'm pleased to agree with you on this. Very well said. I've been trying, but still don't understand how that museum got the OK. Nonetheless, I support your input on this, and the non Tract K solution for the HS. Thank you.

Written on Tract K out of play for Marco charter high:

in response to Ocram:

Why should they send their kids off of the Island since they "discovered a way" to beat the system and get public funding and tax dollars to support a PRIVATE school. One they can control, without the cost of shelling out private school tuition. What a racket! So where are the enrollment numbers now? Are we going to need "another extension" for that too? Watch and see!

Oc - Yes, ingenuity and dedication, it's the American way. You've got to admit, the system isn't working, which is why a new, local solution was necessary.

Now, the tax dollars we pay each year will finally stay on the Island, I'm all for that, to get spent locally. Why are you OK with sending Marco tax dollars to Naples? That makes no sense.

I was told the enrollment window goes through August, so not sure what you mean about a deadline.

Why are the few of you so focused on seeing this HS fail? Please, tell me why you would want that? I would really like to hear the valid reasoning of your thoughts on this. Thank you.

Written on Tract K out of play for Marco charter high:

in response to thefallofRome:

Called the school, first told 22 students, then 30 students, so the smoke and mirrors continues by the MIA. Does not look like the interest is there. If so few familys are interested why is this even a issue. Send your kids to SeaCreast, Community school, St Jhon Newman or of course Lely. Looks like a ton of options for your childern, no need to waist money on yet another school building with so many options available.

Rome - Thanks for the figures. I couldn't find the information in the press but called after I read your note. They told me thirty so far. I asked about the 22 figure you mentioned and they said that was last week's figure. Looks like the enrollments are coming in quickly and consistently. That's a pretty nice increase for one week. They did clarify that the enrollment packets have not even been mailed out to the local 8th & 9th grade resident students yet. It seems the MIA people are pleased with the high enrollment numbers without even getting the information and enrollment sign ups out to the locals yet.

Thanks for sharing the info. When you get a chance, call Lely and see what their numbers are, not that it really matters. MIA is a community school for HS level, just like Barfield and MICMS are for all the elementary and middle school island kids, so having it in the community is the key feature. Thus, no need for Seacrest or St.John, as those options are far from our island. Again, would you drive everyday to Naples for a good meal, when you can eat on Marco? Silly, isn't it.

Written on Tract K out of play for Marco charter high:

in response to islandeye1#236971:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Island - Thanks for the reminder on this open question. Personally, I don't know what would happen if this were true. I don't know how many are enrolled and my personal opinion is that this seems very unlikely that the majority would be off island kids. But, I suspect the school will publish something on this soon.

I do know they are actively seeking enrollments now, but I don't know what the figures or mix of students are. If I were to guess, I bet 85% will be Marco residents, and higher if you count those who's parents work on the island, but don't live within the city. Again, just my estimate. I tried to find this in the news, but it appears none of the local public schools publish this information.

Happier now you got my 2 cents!?