I am happy to hear that our Education Superintendent, Bill Honig, is studying our middle schools and recommending some changes. However, the recent unanimous decision by our Las Virgenes School Board to combine Indian Hills Continuation High School, A.E. Wright Middle School and the new district offices all on the same campus is not the kind of change that Mr. Honig had in mind.
Our school board stated, matter of factly, that the athletic fields will be shared. It only follows that the gymnasium and showers will also be shared as well as the library and the lunch facilities.
Mixing 11-, 12-, and 13-year-old adolescents with 16- to 20-year-old adults on the same campus is not in the best interests of either group.
We parents need to ask some questions such as:
Was there a study done on the effects of mixing two such diverse groups of students? Sixth-graders traditionally look to the oldest students on campus as role models. How will they perceive the Indian Hills students?
Why wasn't Agoura Hills with its 40 acres considered as a site for Indian Hills instead of A.E. Wright, with half the acreage?
How many other school districts in California combine middle school campuses with elementary or high schools, and what are the problems associated with these combinations?
A task force studying middle schools, commissioned by Mr. Honig, recommended that "public schools tailor programs to accommodate, rather than ignore, the physical, mental and social changes taking place in adolescent students."
I believe the Las Virgenes School District chose to ignore our adolescent children in making this rash decision.