I appreciate the District 200 school board’s service and dedication to OPRF High School and the thoughtful proposal created by the Imagine OPRF team on how our facility should evolve. We have two children currently at OPRF and agree the facility needs to be updated. However, we need to differentiate between needs and wants and be laser-focused on the school’s core mission.
At OPRF we are facing a key moment on how we go forward to help each student achieve their full potential. Part of Sequence 1 seems to support this goal by providing a new library/media center, student resource space, update classrooms and other academic and student services needs. A quite large new pool and rebuilding the entire field house in subsequent sequences seem to fall into the “want” category. I have asked the school board to further refine the plan to focus on specific, measurable student outcomes that are supported by these facility changes.
We also need to see a complete (all sequences) funding plan for a facility upgrade and how we will balance this with the need for additional funding to help each student achieve their full potential. The documentary America to Me shows we need to do more (and/or explore different approaches) to improve student outcomes for all of our students.
I do not see how a $150 million-plus facility upgrade is the best and fastest way to achieve the core educational mission of OPRF. My recommendation is, once we get a complete cost/funding strategy of the current plan, we refine/prioritize those elements that directly impact student outcomes (and show how we are going to measure so we can make sure they positively impact student outcomes).
Please write to the school board and attend the Oct. 3 meeting at OPRF to make sure all of our voices are heard and that facility improvement meets the urgent need to improve student outcomes for all students at OPRF.