Keep middle schools open
February 19, 2014
We agree with the Douglas County School Board's decision to keep both Carson Valley middle schools operating into the future.
The question came up as a result of plans to move ninth-graders back to Douglas High School after work on the school is completed in 2015.
It will be the first freshman class at the high school since 1994, when Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School was completed. In the 1990s, Douglas County's school population was rising at a rapid pace, and building a second middle school was a lot cheaper than expanding the high school.
The bonds that built Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School, as well as Piñon Hills and Minden elementary schools, were retired in the middle of the last decade.
Meanwhile, student growth in the district has slowed to a dead stop, and has backed off a bit. This year the district lost two students in enrollment, which hopefully means the slide has ended.
The question for Douglas County residents is what to do with two middle schools in the Valley?
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Most people favor moving the sixth-graders into the middle schools, which would provide some relief to the elementary schools. There would even be some time to work on Carson Valley Middle School, which was built in the 1950s as an adjunct to Douglas County High School.
The school district's goal should be to get our tax dollars' worth out of the buildings it has, while making use of the space to improve our residents' access to education.