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Letter: Don't limit extracurricular activities with Quest Academy move

Don't limit Quest student activities

I attended the special School Board meeting concerning the moving of the Quest Academy to ease the crowding at Explorer K-8. The meeting was very enlightening as pros and cons were discussed regarding each of the limited options presented. In the end, the board voted to move the program to Challenger K-8 and explore the option to create a "school within a school" complete with its own administration.

What does this mean for the children at the Quest Academy?

According to Sonya Jackson, interim superintendent, the Quest Academy would have its own administration, own school number, and the children at the Quest Academy would not be able to participate in any Challenger K-8 activities.

When principal Sue Stoops generously offered to house the Quest Academy, was she aware of the board's intent to explore the school within a school option?

Where were the parents of Challenger K-8 students and prospective students? Didn't you want to know how this move will affect your children? Did you know that the move will create nine double classrooms at Challenger? Did you know that Challenger will have to decrease the number of students admitted into the general education program?

Would Stoops have offered the Challenger campus had she known that the underlying goal was to create a school within a school, thus sacrificing space for the current and future student body to house the Quest Academy with absolutely no control over it?

What happens three, five or 10 years from now if the Quest Academy continues to grow and flourish? Will the parents and the staff of Challenger continue to allow the Quest Academy to take up more space on your campus if it is considered its own entity?

If the Quest Academy has to move, then I agree Challenger is the best option; however, as a parent of two gifted children in the program, I want them to be able to be part of the Challenger community and participate in extracurricular activities at the school. Education of my children needs to be well-rounded and include the opportunity to participate in clubs or sports should they wish.

Kelley Kordon, Spring Hill

Quest decision was railroaded

It is difficult to express in words the level of my disgust at the actions of a faction of the Hernando County School Board and an arrogant collective of parents who decided to railroad the decision to move the gifted center to their favored gated school community, Challenger K-8.

What was apparent from the start of this alleged debate was that there were no other viable options put forth by the Challenger cabal so as to ensure that their chosen school would be the only option to relocate the gifted center.

Emphasizing the extent of the railroading that occurred in this decision, School Board member Dianne Bonfield was surreptitiously led to believe there would be no vote at the meeting by those who were intent on forcing the vote through at said meeting.

In addition, a number of the pro-Challenger audience, in an attempt to remove any remaining dissent to the forced move, attempted to restrict the board voting rights of John Sweeney.

In the education community, Challenger K-8, since its inception, has been considered by the parents of many of the students there to be the fulfillment of their right to exclusivity without having to pay tuition for such a right. Challenger K-8 has, through the restrictive nature its magnet program, artificially kept its population low while other elementary and secondary schools have been forced to suffer through crowding, which could have been lessened should Challenger have taken its fair share of students in the county. Now, by placing two programs with restrictive attendance at Challenger, the parents and administration will continue to demand that their school receive resources out of proportion to the school's population.

This is an affront to my family and to any other family whose taxes pay for education and then are faced with these demands by Challenger to remain immune to overpopulation and supply rationing at the expense of their children.

My family is indeed a significant stakeholder in this decision as we have three children who are all in the gifted program. Moving our children to Challenger would be a small inconvenience, no more than the mythical inconvenience proclaimed by the parents of the 94 students who by choice decided to deny their children gifted services for a year. However, the real losers in this decision will be the students at all the other elementary and middle schools in the county, who will continue to have to use creative math to meet class size requirements due to their crowding. Every parent whose child is attending a different school should be incensed knowing their children will be shorted by the School Board yet again.

Lou Giacobbi, Spring Hill

Re: Whooping crane shot

Cruelty to crane unchristian act

This act of cruelty to this female crane is ungodly and unchristian, and it is a shame on that person who did this.

I can understand hunting in order to put food on the table because a person doesn't have the money to buy food, but this is not the case. And, when you make a kill, you do it quick and mercifully, and you don't target animals that have young.

Make no mistake about it, God knows everything we do in life and he also knows what that person did to this bird.

Jerry Savas, Spring Hill

Hernando needs cable competition

Since I have had Bright House, they have replaced the cable box four times. We have had numerous house calls for one reason or another.

Last week was no different; I lost my sound and had to reboot every time I put on the TV. I called Bright House and it said the next available appointment was in six days. A supervisor informed me that I could unhook my cable box and take it to one of Bright House's stores and get another cable box.

I pay almost $100 a month and this is the service I receive? I wish we could get another cable provider into Hernando County to give Bright House some competition.

James Conides, Spring Hill

Tired of Tiger's transgressions

He is not a tiger, but a cheetah. I am tired of reading about Tiger Woods' wild side and seeing those collagen and Botox needy women.

Were they seeking 15 minutes of fame or did they see dollar signs? They are as immoral as he is, knowing he is married.

I'd rather read about real men such as Warrick Dunn. He is a shining example of what an athlete should be.

Please, no more Tiger.

June Connolly, Spring Hill

Re: Red light cameras

Signs could be simple solution

My answer to this problem (if it is a problem) is simple. If no accidents have happened at these intersections by this vast criminal element not stopping before right turns, then install "yield'' signs.

Problem solved.

Bob McAdle, New Port Richey

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Letter: Don't limit extracurricular activities with Quest Academy move 12/15/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 15, 2009 4:28pm]
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