Student View: Consolidation is best for academics
February 12, 2021
Wrenshall High School students wrote editorials in Ted Conover’s English composition class and some shared their opinions with the Pine Knot News. We will be publishing their work over the next few weeks.
Over the years, I’ve noticed some limitations when it comes to the academics at both Wrenshall and Carlton high schools. I believe that if the schools were to combine, the students would gain new academic opportunities that would greatly benefit them in the future.
With a very limited student body at both schools, it becomes a struggle to have a decent turnout in activities such as band, clubs, and other extracurricular and fine arts activities. Fine arts programs are an important part of a school, which is why it can be very disheartening to some when there aren’t many opportunities available. For example, at Wrenshall, at times there is no pep band to play at sport events due to lack of interest. There hasn’t been a choir for a few years because, once again, there is a lack of interest. With a combined student body, there would be more of a chance for these activities to be brought back and the students that wish to participate would have that opportunity.
There is also a lack of higher level courses available to students at both schools, particularly College in the School’s courses. These are classes that are taught by the teachers in the high schools that, when completed, give the student college credits. As of now, there are four offered at Wrenshall and six offered at Carlton. If the schools combined, the students would get new CITS classes offered to them, which could be beneficial to some who plan on going to college after high school.
For these reasons, I believe that Carlton and Wrenshall should combine within the next few years. Alone, neither school would be able to put many changes regarding academics in place.
Consolidation would not only benefit the students, but also the communities. Children are the future. If we expect our communities to thrive and continue on long into the future, we have to make those communities a place that is desirable and welcoming. Having an updated facility with more academic opportunities available to the children in these communities would help to make the community thrive. A larger population of students attending that school could also bring new people wanting to live in the county, therefore allowing the community to thrive and continue on.
One of the major problems that others see with consolidating districts is that taxes would be raised. Everyone would pay the same level of taxes, but that would mean a larger increase in the Carlton School District. According to estimates, the tax impact on Carlton homeowners was about a $265 increase, while the estimated tax impact on a Wrenshall homeowner was about a $105 increase.
Overall, I believe that the best option for the students of both Wrenshall and Carlton would be consolidation within the next few years. The positives outweigh the negatives, and even though it could be a difficult transition, the quality of education the students could receive is worth it.
Magdalene Sowada is a junior at Wrenshall and plans to study social work in college.