School board gives Polaris the go-ahead

POULSBO — The North Kitsap School Board of Directors gave the final green light to the Polaris Project, North Kitsap’s first attempt at establishing small learning communities for high school students in the area.

A unanimous vote by the board was met with cheers from high school administrators and those in attendance at Wednesday’s board meeting.

“It’s very exciting,” said NKHS assistant principal Christy Cole, who helped start the program and will continue to oversee Polaris when it begins in September. “It’s the start of a new era in education.”

NK’s first small learning community will be housed in the soon-to-be-finished high school “H” building, and already has had more than 120 students sign up for the program. The aim of Polaris is to provide a more intimate and integrated opportunity for high school students and is one of the goals in the School District’s “Guiding Principles,” the guide NK educators drafted for educating students in North Kitsap.

Cole estimated that out of the 123 students already signed up, approximately half of the total are incoming sophomores from Poulsbo or Kingston junior high schools and some 40 percent are current sophomores. Only 10 percent of that total are current juniors, she added. The program’s capacity is about 220 students, Cole said.

“A lot of kids are waiting to see if other kids will do (Polaris),” Cole commented.

Applications will be accepted up through the end of June.

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