Supporting our local schools (Opinion)
Throughout my career in education, I have always believed that the strength of any city or community I have been a part of is the quality of its schools — all schools. Whether independent or private, public or charter, every school should be supported, encouraged, and promoted by all. When practiced, it allows parents to select schools that best fit their children and their families. It is undoubtedly a worthy goal for all of us, a sincere and ongoing commitment to excellence among all members of the larger community.
For Lake Tahoe School, our support of all schools is integral to our commitment to the larger community. From sharing visiting speakers and facilities to competing athletically and supporting each other’s fundraising events, we believe in our area schools. In fact, many of our graduates look to Incline High School to continue their education. As members of the Incline Village community, Lake Tahoe School will always show support during our area schools’ successes and challenges.
I recently had the chance to experience some of these challenges firsthand. As many of you know, Washoe County School District proposes several options for Incline Middle School as part of a district-wide review of its facilities. Among these options is the possible closing of the current Middle School and consolidation of its grades into the current Incline Elementary and High Schools. Utilizing the primary rationale of declining enrollment, this option was the catalyst for a community-wide meeting held at Incline High School on Wednesday, April 5.
While the meeting sometimes grew contentious and often strayed from the District’s intended presentation, I was impressed with two things. The first was the high attendance that overwhelmed the small cafeteria. The crowd included parents, teachers, alums, students, and community members concerned about what such a school closure might mean for their students and our community. Even more impressive was the passion and intensity of the crowd as they shared their questions and concerns about the proposed action. Listening as they shared their experiences and what Incline Middle School means to them, I could not help but be both proud and grateful to be part of the Incline Village community.
Leaving the meeting with many issues still unresolved, I am optimistic about the future of our local public schools. With passion and broad community support such as I just witnessed, there was much to be confident about. I personally hope that Incline Middle School continues to be a vital part of our education community. Additionally, I know that the voices of support I heard that night will continue to work in the best interests of all students in our community. We are a community that supports one another, and your continued support of our local schools is greatly appreciated. It takes a Village.
If you would like to contribute to the discussion regarding options for Incline Middle School, please consider attending Washoe County School District’s next public meeting on May 3, in Duffield Theatre at Incline High School.
Robert E. Graves is head of school at Lake Tahoe School
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