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"We Believe in Olympic Community of Schools"

(February 19, 2007) Scott Whitfield and Lauren Seborowski, students at the Olympic Community of Schools, spoke before the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Board on February 13 at the Public Hearing on the Ten Year Capital Project Plan. Costs for improvements to Olympic athletic facilities were included in the bond issue that failed in 2005, but Olympic athletic facilities are not among the highest priority projects that currently are proposed to be funded by the 2007 bond.

Here is what Scott and Lauren said before the School Board:

Good evening. My name is Scott Whitfield. I am here along with several other students representing the five schools known as the Olympic Community of Schools.

We are here to voice our concerns regarding the physical needs of our school building.

Some of the goals of the Olympic Community of Schools are to provide personal learning experiences among teachers and students and to initiate a better understanding of students interest.

Olympic is, and will continue to be a huge asset to our community. We have demonstrated this by helping the homeless in our Hidden Valley Project by donating coats, and other necessities. Students from Olympic have walked to fight Autism, donated money to clinics that speak about teen pregnancy, and are involved in the Big Brother Big Sister Program where we mentor elementary school students at a neighboring elementary school.

We believe in Olympic Community of Schools and believe we would be able to maximize our potential with better facilities and equipment.

I will now introduce Lauren Seborowski to speak a little more on the needs of our facilities.

Thank you very much.
Good evening. My name is Lauren Seborowski and, along with my classmates I am here to represent the Olympic Community of Schools.

The leadership at Olympic High School worked very hard and won a large grant from the Gates Foundation so that the students would receive, among other things, a more personalized educational experience.

While the money has been used for the good of our educational experience, no money went to improving our facilities. As a member of the Coalition of Essential Schools, we have divided our school up into 5 smaller schools. This is a unique undertaking and a challenge that the staff, students and community of Olympic welcome as we work to create a better and more effective learning environment. Being a member of this Coalition, and given our uniqueness, the eyes of the nation are upon us and many visitors from around the country will be visiting our school.

With this said, our school building is in need of many repairs and upgrades. The school was built in 1966; it is older than many of our parents. Some of my fellow students have walked around our campus and taken photographs of the areas needing repair and renovation. Each board member has received a copy of the CD with those photographs.

Some of the photos include leaky roofs, mold problems, very large wholes in our floors covered by plywood, damaged and unsightly athletic facilities, and disabled bathrooms and lab areas.

We also need an upgrade on the books in our school library. The average age of our book collections goes back to 1984.

Also, due to the importance of being in step in the age of technology we ask the board to please look into finding some way to adequately supply the Olympic Community of Schools with the proper technology. Computers and more Internet access are crucial to our education and our future.

Thank you very much for your time and consideration. The students at the Olympic Community of Schools look forward to working with you to address these issues together.


Also read what Blaine Wallace, President of the Olympic High School Sports Booster Club, said at the Public Hearing: "Please Don't Forget Olympic!"



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