I graduated from the Park Rapids High School. My children all graduated from the Park Rapids High School, and I now have seven grandchildren in this school system. I am proud to say I am a graduate of Park Rapids.
The Vote Yes committee has worked very hard on providing the public with good information about the proposed improvements and changes to the school buildings for the levy referendum so you can make an informed decision about your vote on April 13.
Our school board and administration met with the public numerous times in the last couple of years to ask them what was most important in the school curriculum and what changes they would like to see. This levy referendum is not an operating budget need; this levy referendum is for much needed improvements which will help us improve curriculum options for our students.
This vote is not a political vote; it is a vote by the public to decide if the proposed changes are what they feel are needed and worthy of paying for. This is not a Democrat or Republican vote. This vote affects all of our students regardless of age, race or color. Whether you vote for or against the levy referendum, you are not going to be deemed right or wrong. You have the choice to vote to voice your opinion.
Our athletic programs and extracurricular activities “GO PANTHERS!” have provided our students with numerous opportunities for reduced college expenses and opportunities to attend a technical college or a four-year college with additional educational opportunities.
Did you know that almost 50 percent of our students stay in Park Rapids and go directly into the local workforce? Local businesses asked the school to provide these students with classes that allow them to move into the workforce immediately after graduation with proper schooling.
Our school system now offers 22 career paths for students which will expose them to a wider range of professions, including agriculture, health care and business management and expanded shop classes, technical training and other career development programs. This is exactly what our community leaders asked for.
In order to provide these options to our students, changes are needed to our school buildings along with realignment of grade levels so students in seventh through 12th grade have the opportunity to participate in the career and technical education curriculums.
Our students are very involved in our community participating in food drives, helping pack backpack lunches for students that may not have food over a weekend. They are active in their religious beliefs, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and they provide leadership to the younger students. Our local media has been wonderful about sharing these stories with you. Our local paper is filled with pictures of active students every week.
On April 13, this community will have the opportunity to vote on a bond referendum that will invest $59.8 million into our most critical school facility needs.