Both of my children went to Henderson and then, Elkhorn School.
The student cultural and economic makeup was, at that time (1993-2000), much more diverse than their home school, Lakewood. It was not a school of upper middle class Caucasians as stated frequently in Lester Patrick's column (http://www.lodinews.com/articles/2003/09/27/opinion/01_patrick_030927.txt"" target="_blank">"LUSD's segregation policy must end," Lodinews.com, Sept. 27, 2003).
He sounds angry and prejudiced against this particular socioeconomic group. The school is not segregated by ethnicity as he purports. He compares it to racially segregated schools. This school is not meant to keep him or his children out.
I admit that the criteria for admitting students could be improved; but this is not cause to demolish a successful program.
Frankly, the Henderson facility was decrepit. One of the buildings was unusable by students. It was an old school with no auditorium or cafeteria; all the classrooms were portables.
Elkhorn was in better shape, but had no large room to use for eating or gathering. But we didn't care because our children had an opportunity to excel. In regular classrooms our children were bored, distracted, unhappy and "different."
Gifted children are often ridiculed or shunned by other students, especially in a mixed school environment. At the GATE schools, there is less pressure on students to conform to "normal" standards, so students can pursue their interests and be accepted for who they are.
The GATE school was an incredible educational experience for my children. Is there a reason why my children shouldn't get an education to which all our children are entitled?
Our community is a wonderful place to live, where all people can hope to achieve their potential. It's great that our children can have the opportunity to attend a wonderful school like Elkhorn.