As you may have heard via NextDoor.com, there is an effort to build a Krop High School Annex for 500 high school students for an iPrep program on the grounds of the Highland Oaks Middle School physical education field (you can read about iPrep athttps://sites.google.com/site/iprepacademy/about-us).
I have appointed Howard Weiner, a retired principal within the Miami-Dade School District, to lead a committee in response to this issue. He has been doing an outstanding job in organizing our community.
Call for Action
We are asking that residents attend the Aventura City Commission meeting this Tuesday, April 5th, at 6 pm at the Aventura City Government Center, 19200 West Country Club Drive Aventura, Florida 33180. During this meeting, the Aventura Commission will be considering a resolution to support the building of the 500-seat Krop Annex at the Highland Oaks Middle School.
There is always strength in numbers. This resolution should be no surprise to us. The commissioners are in favor of the HOMS option because it serves their purpose as elected officials. They are delivering to their constituents the high school their community wants, maybe not in their city, but very close to it. By appearing and speaking at this meeting, residents of the Sky Lake-Highland Lakes area can send a very clear message that our concerns are real and viable. As a contiguous neighbor to the City of Aventura, our voices must be heard.
The Sky Lake – Highland Lakes Area Homeowner’s Association has taken an official stance that the annex should be built on the grounds of Krop High School, for the following reasons:
- Isolation of IPREP students from daily life at Krop Senior (a major concern of Krop students).
- IPREP students will lose academic, athletic, and school-based activities and opportunities.
- Bus shuttles taking students to and from the annex will cause additional traffic congestion.
- Added student driver traffic. Without the availability of student parking on campus, many will park on neighboring swales and streets surrounding the area of Ives Dairy Road.
- HOMS will lose the athletic field it has reclaimed after the removal of a number of portable classrooms.
- Collateral impact of mass construction (noise, dust, etc.) on homes next to HOMS as well as disrupting the educational process at HOMS.
- Added bus and car traffic on Ives Dairy Road that will be further complicated by the construction of the FEC railroad overpasses (All Aboard Florida).
- Added local traffic with parents dropping off/picking up students at the annex and on N.E. 207 St.
The HOA sent a letter to school board member Dr. Martin Karp requesting he take an official position. His response of March 16 was the following, which he posted on NextDoor.com:
“I have listened and made the process very open. There is a process and that being said I have followed it. I have spoken many times to staff and the Superintendent to explain your points of view to locate i Prep at the campus of Dr. Michael M. Krop SHS. This Superintendent beyond being an innovator has always been one to listen and care about other people’s concerns and ideas. At this time in the process, I can say I do not favor the Highland Oaks Middle School option.”
In response to these developments, the Aventura Commission called for a workshop, which was held on March 30. Several HOA members attended, led by committee chairman Howard Weiner.
The meeting began with a short presentation by the City Manager.
- Via Youtube he presented portions of a speech delivered by Superintendent Carvalho on 12/3/15 in the City of Aventura.
- The speech included more than one reference of the need to increase student stations in the northeast section of Miami Dade County. This would be accomplished through the use of $11.8 million of the approved bond referendum by constructing a new facility in the future.
- The superintendent provided information about the flexible educational planning the district has done by mentioning programs like Mast Academy and iPrep.
The meeting was then turned over to the mayor for discussion about the location of the iPrep. The conversation between the mayor and the commissioners included:
- Statements that no official word has come from the School Board about the location.
- One commissioner suggested that a resolution be presented that would favor the use of the HOMS campus for the annex after stating that building a high school in Aventura was impossible.
- There was discussion of the need to satisfy Aventura parents’ desire for a high school in the city or as close to as possible to the city and the HOMS option would meet that need.
- Another commissioner questioned the purpose of the resolution since this was an issue handled specifically by the School Board.
- Another commissioner asked if the students at HOMS would lose their athletic field if the annex was built there. The mayor indicated that this area was not an athletic field because of the lack of striping which is typical of such a field.
- Another commissioner asked what Dr. Karp’s stance was on this issue. The mayor began to read Dr. Karp’s NextDoor posting. However, the mayor did not read it in its entirety. She did not include the last sentence which stated “At this time in the process, I can say I do not favor the Highland Oaks Middle School option.”
- At the end of the meeting the resolution was passed by the commissioners for presentation at the next City Commission meeting.
- At that time, Howard Weiner raised his hand to be recognized and the mayor stated that public comment at workshops is not usual. However, she made an exception and allowed him to speak. Weiner introduced himself and began by stating that “the mayor did not read Dr. Karp’s entire statement.” At that moment he was cut off by the mayor and she stated that the commissioners have copies of Dr. Karp’s posting and they can read. Additionally, she indicated that Weiner could speak publically on this and any subject at the next meeting during the public hearing session. The meeting ended at that point in time.
Now is the time for each resident to speak out against a proposed resolution by the City of Aventura which is in favor of building the Krop iPrep Annex on the grounds of HOMS.
- This resolution will be considered by the Aventura City Commission on Tuesday, April 5, 2016 at 6 PM.
- Each of you can speak during the Public Hearing portion of this meeting. There is no Aventura residency requirement to speak.
- There is no requirement to sign up in advance or register to speak.
- You must state your name and address.
- You will have three minutes to speak.
- The mayor has the discretion to determine when to end this portion of the public hearing and move for a commission vote.
- Speakers are needed to express our concerns about this project. We would like to compile a list of those wishing to speak. Please let committee chair Howard Weiner know of your interest via firstname.lastname@example.org.
President, Sky Lake – Highland Lakes Area Homeowners Association