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School district seeks input from community

MARYSVILLE Getting small is a tall order, and the Marysville School District wants to know what parents think of a plan to split Marysville-Pilchuck High School into as many as seven or eight smaller learning communities. Each new school would be about 400 students and would concentrate on a career path or a learning theme.
Teachers are spending the month pitching different ideas to each other and administrators and the proposals should go before the school board later this year. The smaller schools will be up and running by the 2007 school year, according to M-PHS principal Tracy Suchan Toothaker.
The community is invited to attend a public meeting at the M-PHS auditorium on Thursday, Oct. 12, at 6 p.m. on the M-PHS campus at 5611 108th St. NE.
Superintendent Larry Nyland said he and assistant superintendent Gail Miller heard the ideas for the different schools and saw a lot of energy. According to Nyland smaller schools reduce truancy and discipline problems while increasing academic achievement and graduation rates.
A lot of good conversations about what is possible, is what he heard from teachers, Nyland said, and now he wants parents to know whats afoot and to have an opportunity to comment and offer suggestions.

Whats in a name?
A new high school and a new elementary school are moving from the drawing boards to the construction phase over the next year and the district wants to know what they should be called.
According to Nyland many community members feel that when the new Pilchuck High School was merged with Marysville High School in the mid-70s, the Pilchuck name, mascot and colors were promised to be revived someday if another high school was built. His staff cant find any corroboration of that in newspapers of the time, but are still looking to hear from the community.
Various people seem to have the recollection, Nyland said.
The district has appointed a naming committee to saddle four schools with new names: the new Getchell Hill high school, the new elementary school, the Marysville Alternative High School, and Marysville Junior High School, which will become a middle school, and there is already a Marysville Middle School.
Suggestions are encouraged and should be sent to the district offices by Oct. 10. The districts mailing address is 4220 80th Street NE, Marysville, WA 98270. Suggestions can also be emailed to Jodi_Runyon@msvl.k12.wa.us.
More information can be had at the district website www.msvl.k12.wa.us, or by calling the naming committee chairwoman, Deirdre Kvangnes at 360-653-2509.

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