Over the past week, you have generated record hits and comments regarding the approval of a new land site for Metea Valley High School here at the World of Naperville. While you had a wide range of opinions to share, one comment in particular impressed me so much that I had to feature it as a full-fledged posting.
The comment comes from a middle school student in District 204 who is facing the transition to high school next year amidst all the chaos swirling around the new high school issue. It was refreshing to hear the student perspective and I commend this individual for the comment. At a certain point, we all need to step back to listen and value the opinion of those students on the front lines who know the situation best. Below is the comment:
“As most of you know, some Neuqua Valley parents are concerned that if their children go to Waubonsie Valley that their children will not receive as high of an education, that their children will be going to school with lower class children who are “bad influences”, or that their home values will be going down, (although the housing market is terrible right now anyway). But does anyone ever bother asking the students what they think? I know the classic comment made is; “They’re just teenagers, what do they know?” And as I speak on behalf of a lot of students, I believe that we know more than you think we do about the situation.
I have resided in Naperville school district 204 for 10 years now, so I am used to the ‘extravagent’, and ‘out-of-the-ordinary’ lifestyle that living in ‘Naperworld’ provides. It’s the truth, isn’t it? Naperville, IL, is not like other towns in this country. The education we receive here, and the opprotunity we receive is beyond what some of our parents could have ever dreamed of when they were growing up. We are told everyday by our educators at school that both high schools are better then your average…so why is there still so much, I guess to say “drama”. Come one, this is not middle school here!
To elaborate, every single day, I walk through a sea of 1500 middle school students, in a school that was only meant for 1250. I have classrooms in module classrooms, (as they are called), that are extremely nice, but the fact is that you still walk outside to go to them. I also attend classes that only have half of a wall; meaning that the other half is made out of flags. Yes, flags. And then, as I look out across my bedroom window right now, and see Neuqua Valley, I think, ‘Wow, an even more crowded school to look forward to for next year.’ I was told just several weeks ago that next year Neuqua is expecting 4700 students, and I am sure that Waubonsie is looking at similiar numbers. So isn’t this 3rd high school needed? For the last year, I have known that I was going to be seperated from 1/2 of the students that attend my middle school. One half. One half of my friends were supposed to attend Metea and now they might attend Waubonsie. And yet, most students are okay with it. Although the third high school’s probability of being built has been questionable over the last several months, we had already gotten over the shock of being seperated during our high school years, so we have dealt with it the best we can after hearing of Metea’s new location. Probably the most said comment from students on this new location is,
“Oh man! Now I have to sell my Neuqua spirit wear!” The same probably goes for Waubonsie students, who may attend Metea.
So as you can see, the students of District 204 are not ultimately concerned with where they are attending high school. Frankly, most of us are too involved and busy with our current lives to care. I mean, there are exceptions, as in the past there were some unreasonble boundary propositions when it came to transportation time, but in the end, the chosen boundaries in my opinion were the best out of the proposed. Let’s just hope that eveyone can be happy this time around and that all of the drama that boundary prepositions have caused in the past can be avoided.
Let’s just face the facts: we know that we need the new high school because the schools are getting ridiculously overcrowded, and this can end up hurting District 204’s educational system. If the students are mature enough to handle and accept these matters like adults, then adults should be able to too. The students are desperate to get the new high school built and open because it will impact the way we, as students, spend our high school years more than high school boundaries ever will. ”
In a way, I can’t help but see a little of myself in this individual. When I was in high school I had the fortuante opportunity and latitude to write a weekly youth opinion column in my local newspaper to provide the generational perspective. Kids these days have a far more powerful medium to express their thoughts and it is good to see they are willing to step forth and speak their own minds.
To the student you wrote this comment, my sincerest thanks. Your thoughts will always be welcome at the World of Naperville. SM