I think it is time to clear the air about Animas High School. We in Durango are fortunate to have two choices for public high school. Not all students learn the same way, so why shouldn't we provide opportunities for every child to select the type of education that fits best. We need to get behind our students regardless of which school they choose.
Unfortunately, I keep hearing AHS blamed for the changes being made at Durango High School, which at some point doesn't ring true. Yes, funding may be lost for DHS, but it isn't the school's funding, it is the students'. Isn't it every child's right to get the best education possible? If the student is better served at another school, isn't that what we want as a community, and shouldn't we support this educational choice and the funding that goes with it?
We also need to recognize that AHS is only responsible for a small share of the budget reductions at DHS. AHS is going to open with only 100 students, many of which come from other school districts or otherwise would be home-schooled. The greater share of DHS' budget reductions are because of cuts in federal and state programs, changes in how 9-R allocates funding to schools within the district, reduction of programs that affected only a handful of students and the opening of the Big Picture School.
This is not to say that these reductions don't hurt, particularly when it affects the lives of our teachers and administrators. But we need to move forward. With U.S. schools ranked 11th in the world, isn't it time to try new approaches to education? Let's embrace Animas High School for an educational concept that has worked so well for so many other communities and revel in having two great high schools.
Martie Woodford, Durango