Soldotna High School students have had greater access to a variety of academic and extracurricular services since the start of the 2014-2015 school year.
The increase in scholastic programs is just one result of the reconfiguration of three central peninsula schools, said Principal Todd Syverson. The high school received more staffing and supply dollars when the number of students increased at the beginning of the year.
The ninth-grade class, which is on average 180 students, was moved to Soldotna Prep School, Syverson said. More than 100 tenth-graders, eleventh-graders and twelfth-graders were added to the high school population when Skyview High School became a middle school, he said.
“Now we have a number of new offerings,” Syverson said.
Operations were extended in the media center and library, Syverson said. After school transportation is now an option for students utilizing the extra hours, he said. The variety of academic choices has also expanded. New SALT classes and AP Courses including World History were added to the curriculum, and Journalism and creative writing are now elective options in the class schedule, Syverson said.
So much of the success of the transition is student and staff driven, Syverson said. Administrators started planning for the influx at the start of the 213-2014 school year, he said. Since Skyview staff members and teachers were some of the new faces walking Soldotna High School hallways, students entering the new school already felt comfortable, Syverson said.
Teaching more students means a greater variety of needs and interests, Syverson said. Intramural volleyball and basketball teams were formed for those who didn’t want to or couldn’t compete on the intramural level, Syverson said. A second student council was formed in addition to the elected body, Syverson said. The new group focuses on school activities, he said. Feedback from students made it possible to effectively address their needs, he said.
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