COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Cutting the budget without cutting the kids' education was the focus of a townhall meeting at Wasson high school tonight. Over the last six years, both Wasson and Mitchell have been forced to cut staff and classes .This has lead to the elimination of foreign language, creative arts courses, AP, and even honors classes. Now, some of those programs could be coming back.
Parents at Wasson High School spent the evening discussing the innovative idea of allowing Wasson students to attend classes at their rival Mitchell High School.
"Kids can take classes over at Mitchell that Wasson doesn't offer and vice versa," said Corrine Pitt who has a son who attends Mitchell High School.
Budget cutbacks have forced Mitchell and Wasson to cut classes and teachers.But the school district came up with the idea of offering certain classes at one school, and additional classes at the other school. Students will be transported in-between schools.
"When you have the opportunity to combine the schools, kids will go from one school to the other to take classes. We can offer a full compliment of courses for all the kids to take all the courses at both schools, said School District 11 Administrator John Keane.
Corrine Pitt said her son was originally against the idea. "At first my son said absolutely not. Mitchell and Wasson have a great rivalry. He thought that there was no way this will work," said Pitt. That all changed,however, when her son looked at the additional classes he might be able to attend.
"He is in automotive classes. But when he saw the chef's program, he thought this could be a lot of fun.And I think that is the point of offering as many classes as they can offer, said Pitt.
Additional AP, Honors, Foreign languages, and creative arts programs that were originally cancelled could be offered again, if the proposal is approved.
Still, there were concerns about student safety. Students would be more at risk as they are shuttled between schools and there was the possibility of students taking school rivalry too seriously. " When a Wasson athlete walks through the halls of Mitchell, is he going to be safe in the halls? Are they going to be left alone? It's going to be interesting to see how that is handled," said Pitt.
For Corrine Pitt, she believes the rivalry won't keep these students from embracing the opportunity to learn new things, especially with all the new options they will have for courses. "If the parents try to keep the rivalry alive, then the kids will too. But if the parents say want to give this a try. You know it is good," said Pitt optimistically.
Classes under the proposed program would last an hour and a half each.Travel time would be built into the schedule.The program could launch as early as next year.