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Mail: More to school moves than appearances indicateTell North Platte what you think

At the May 6 Board of Education meeting, the term demographics was used to refer to the closing of McKinley Elementary in reference to the proposed closing of Hall School.

Years ago at McKinley, declining enrollment was precipitated by the central office’s reduction of the school boundaries of McKinley.

Children who had been attending McKinley were moved to Jefferson or Washington, thereby showing a demographic reduction in the number of students at McKinley. My children were affected by this change in boundaries.

Evidently, a fear factor was felt by parents at Hall school, causing them to move their children out, creating a similar demographic design.

People were concerned. Notification of the proposed closing of Hall School came only two days before the Board of Education met to decide the issue.

Back in the mid-eighties, when the freshmen class was to be moved to the high school, then-Superintendent Doug Christensen told the faculty to make a list of things needed to make the move feasible.

On the morning of the Board of Education meeting, Principal Ivan Kershner told me that Supt. Christensen said no money would be spent on the move to the high school; and, a meeting of Lead Teachers would be held after school to notify the staff.

I was an Associate High School Principal at that time.

At the meeting, more than a dozen Lead Teachers (department heads of math, English, science, etc.) voted unanimously to have Mr. Kershner tell the board to delay the move for a year. However, Mr. Kershner did not make any statement at the meeting.

The “late decision timing factor” is used to prevent a formidable contrary response to such proposals.

Also I wonder why have more than 15 teachers at the high school quit. When I was there, 5-10 a year was the norm.

By Robert McFarland, Maxwell

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 5/22/2014
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