District considers consolidating SoHi, SoPrep

District considers consolidating SoHi, SoPrep

The consolidation would move Soldotna Prep ninth grade students into Soldotna High School

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District is requesting community input on the possibility of consolidating Soldotna Prep School and Soldotna High School, a press release from the district says.

The consolidation would move Soldotna Prep ninth grade students into Soldotna High School and relocate River City Academy, closing down the building that houses Soldotna Prep and River City Academy. The press release says this closure would result in an annual savings of around $630,000 in reduced building operations and personnel costs to operate the building, which houses two schools.

“I’ve discussed with our students and parents the possible closure of the Soldotna Prep building, and the potential need for RCA to move,” River City Academy Principal Dawn Edwards-Smith said in the release. “The district is working to find us a location, should we need it. In the eleven years, I have been at RCA, we have moved a number of times. In each of those new spaces, we have built positive partnerships and used the opportunity to evolve.”

Enrollment at Soldotna Prep and Soldotna High is declining, the release said, and both schools are expected to lose teaching staff in the upcoming school year.

“In addition to declining enrollment, the current state budget deficit in Alaska will require the KPBSD to adjust high school staffing formulas—raise the Pupil-to-Teacher Ratio (PTR)—which will increase class sizes and reduce teaching staff at both schools,” the release said.

To retain essential elective offerings for ninth to 12th grade students in Soldotna, and ease the teaching position reductions, the school’s principals believe now is the time to move Soldotna Prep ninth grade students into Soldotna High School, the release said.

“We want to provide the best experiences and most opportunities for the students,” Soldotna High School Principal Tony Graham said in the release. “With the likelihood of an increase to high school pupil-to-teacher ratio and loss of staffing, it will hinder our ability to provide a 10th-12th-grade quality education. However, because of the economy of scale and staffing formulas, a consolidation with Soldotna Prep 9th grade house would allow us to maintain offerings for 9th-12th-grade students that will give them the ability to have a full and rich high school experience preparing them for their future.”

A community meeting hosted by the school principals and John O’Brien, KPBSD assistant superintendent of instruction, will be held at 6 p.m., April 11, in the Soldotna High School Auditorium.

Until April 12, an online survey is also available for parents, students and staff to share their thoughts on a potential consolidation.

More in News

David Brighton (left) and Leslie Byrd (right) prepare to lead marchers from the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex to Soldotna Creek Park as part of Soldotna Pride in the Park on Saturday, June 3, 2023 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna celebrates LGBTQ+ pride

The event featured food trucks, vendors and a lineup of performers that included comedy, drag and music

Judges Peter Micciche, Terry Eubank and Tyler Best sample a salmon dish prepared by chef Stephen Lamm of the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank at Return of the Reds on Saturday, June 3, 2023, at the Kenai City Dock in Kenai, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai celebrates ‘Return of the Reds’ in food bank fundraiser

Chefs competed for best salmon recipe; fresh-caught fish auctioned

A freshly stocked rainbow trout swims in Johnson Lake during Salmon Celebration on Wednesday, May 10, 2023, at Johnson Lake in Kasilof, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Excellent lake fishing, good halibut and slow salmon

Northern Kenai Fishing Report for June 1

Map via Kenai Peninsula Borough.
Assembly to consider emergency service area for Cooper Landing

Borough legislation creating the service area is subject to voter approval

Peter Micciche (center) listens to the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly certify the results of the Feb. 14, 2023, special mayoral election, through which he was elected mayor of the Kenai Peninsula Borough, on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Thousands respond to borough services survey

Many of the survey questions focused on the quality of borough roads

Two new cars purchased by the Soldotna Senior Center to support its Meals on Wheels program are parked outside of the center in Soldotna, Alaska, on Wednesday, March 30, 2022.(Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion file)
Soldotna budget defunds area senior center

The unanimous vote came after multiple people expressed concerns about how the center operates

An Epidemiology Bulletin titled “Drowning Deaths in Alaska, 2016-2021” published Wednesday, May 31, 2023. (Screenshot)
Health officials say Alaska leads nation in drowning deaths, urge safe practices

A majority of non-occupational Alaska drownings occur in relation to boating, both for recreation and for subsistence

Chief J.J. Hendrickson plays with Torch the cat at the Kenai Animal Shelter on Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna, Kenai to extend animal control partnership

So far this year, the Kenai shelter has served roughly 190 animals

Transportation professionals tour the Sterling Highway and Birch Avenue intersection in Soldotna, Alaska, on Monday, May 22, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna brainstorming pop-up pedestrian safety project

The temporary project aims to boost pedestrian safety near Soldotna Creek Park

Most Read