2010-02-04 / Editorial

We should keep our kids at North Kingstown High School


Do we send our high school students to North Kingstown or Narragansett? That is the question. The Jamestown School Committee has been evaluating both high schools and now must choose the island’s high school of record.

Jamestown students have attended N.K. High School for many years. The N.K. high school is a large, nearly new facility. N.K. boasts a diverse educational program, complimented by excellent athletic and extra-curricular activities. Yes, at times, Jamestown has been frustrated by the seemingly dysfunctional North Kingstown School Committee. Despite that, the high school education offered to Jamestown’s youth has been top notch. N.K. administrators and teachers work to ensure that our students don’t get lost in the maze and develop their own identity.

Narragansett, with a former Jamestown school superintendent at its helm, has put forth a hard sell. There’s the lure of a warm, nurturing environment – Jamestown Part 2, so to speak. Add to that the promise of free busing and personalized, small classes – and a better chance to play sports – and the Narragansett option appears appealing on the surface.

But when you compare apples to apples, there is no contest. Jamestown currently has 234 students enrolled at N.K. High School. A large percentage of our island kids – about 170 – participate in sports. N.K. was recently ranked as one of the top 500 high schools in the country by U.S. News & World Report. N.K. offers broader educational programs than Narragansett. N.K. is a shorter drive than Narragansett – important to parents who make endless trips to school for their kids who participate in sports and after-school activities.

What about those families that might find themselves with students attending both high schools because of a school-of-record change? That straddle could prove a nightmare for a number of parents.

Finally, the warm and nurturing concept is perfect for elementary and middle school. But at the high school level, we want our youth to be prepared to tackle the world – whether they choose a big university or get a job after graduation. A study panel recently found no compelling reason to change.

North Kingstown High School continues to be better suited for Jamestown.

— Jeff McDonough

What do you think? Write a letter to the editor. Or go online at www.JamestownPress.com to vote on this week’s question: Should Jamestown send its students to North Kingstown or Narragansett?

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