Tiger Mountain’s new emphasis on “community”

Amanda Roberts, Staff Writer

There has been a lot of talk about the possible closing of Tiger Mountain Alternative High School, and the question everyone is asking is: how would it affect the students at Liberty? The plan is this: to close down Tiger Mountain for the 2015-2016 school year in order to renovate the educational system. Currently, the graduation rate at Tiger Mountain is very low, but the School Board hopes that the changes that they would make could improve it and give students the opportunity to experience a more hands-on learning environment.

Liberty High School is a school that does not have a hands-on learning environment, but the students who attend have the opportunity to take courses to relate to the subjects that they are interested in. Because this is true, is it really necessary to build an entirely new school for the few students that could otherwise get by in regular high school?

Currently, Tiger Mountain is a school for students that don’t succeed or do very well in public high school. Many students decide to go to Tiger Mountain to get away from hardships such as bullying and drugs from their previous schools. The alternative school provides a different learning environment for the students who need it.

Tiger Mountain students do not have the same academic opportunities as a comprehensive high school. There is not a great variety of courses to choose from. Tiger Mountain also requires fewer credits to graduate than regular high school. This gives students that go to Tiger a different opportunity to receive a high school diploma. Now, the Issaquah School Board has a plan that will change this completely.

The idea is to create a new school where students can be in a building for a few days a week, while during the other part of their week, they would be out getting experiences in a certain field that they are passionate about. This would give students a different experience if they are interested in an alternative high school.

Though some students do not do well in traditional highs schools, many do. Liberty High School, for example, is a school that gives all students an opportunity to find what they enjoy and take classes relating to that. When there is a good educational system in the comprehensive high school, there is not a large reason for students to leave.

Though the School Board’s plan is an interesting one, the lack of students who attend alternative high school makes the idea seem less plausible. The school district wants to allow the students to venture out in the community and gain real world experience but the best approach for an emphasis on community might just be attending a regular high school.