We need to consider shrinking the size of Greenwich High School

FI-Letter-to-the-EditorTo the Editor

I wonder if there’s a compromise on MISA that might appeal to both those looking to build an auditorium to accommodate half the students as well as for those looking to save money.

Why not re-size the auditorium (and the budget) to a high school that’s less than the size of GHS, and have the BOE move toward a 10- to 12th- grade high school?

While some graduates of GHS might cringe at such a change, downsizing MISA might save money and avoid some of construction necessary for a 1,300-plus seat venue. Downsizing MISA and the student population should not impact any state funding, and the smaller auditorium would be still be sufficient for any community needs.

GHS is already the one of the largest in Connecticut and a daunting environment to some incoming students. Might there be benefits to reducing the size and giving freshmen another year to mature before subjecting them to the high school scene?

Some of the town’s private schools run to ninth grade. Transitioning to GHS in 10th grade is awkward for some students as they essentially enter as transfer students. Why not allow the private schools to potentially take up more of the education load with the additional comfort of knowing that their graduates will have the option to enter GHS at the same time as everyone else?

The GHS fields need to be remediated, and with fewer students (no freshman teams on site), it might be possible to accelerate the process. The middle schools (and some elementary schools) are below capacity and should be able to absorb the ninth grade students.

Fewer students would mean less traffic at a critical Post Road intersection and less re-routing of traffic and congestion at the high school during MISA construction. Plus it might allow for broader participation in plays, music, and possibly sports as the groups will be drawing from a smaller audience.

I am sure that there would be challenges (staffing and curriculum would need to be juggled) and pushback from some traditionalists, but it’s important to consider alternative solutions, given the scope of MISA.

 

John H. Dolan
Greenwich

 

The author is a member of the town’s Representative Town Meeting.

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