Two heads are better than one certainly is a saying that applies to a current effort to gain more insight into the community’s opinions on the issue of closing or keeping open Pauls Valley’s high school campus during the lunch period.

The effort gets started in the form of a survey, contained in this edition of the Pauls Valley Daily Democrat, that local school officials are hoping residents will fill out so more input can be obtained on the issue.

“The survey is to give us some feedback about what is the general opinion out there, not of only the students but of the patrons and the parents, whether the lunch hour should closed or open,” Superintendent Bobby Russell said.

“Right now we don’t know what the majority think about the issue,” he said.

“We’ve been contacted by a small group of people who would like to have this addressed again. But we do not know if that is the general consensus of the community about having an open or closed campus.”

So, putting it simply, those at the schools want to know what local residents think.

The idea of seeking the public’s input came from a committee formed last month to look more closely at whether or not the campus should remain open during lunch or should it be closed with more complete food services being provided on site.

Members of that committee actually got the survey idea from a class at the high school.

Even before this issue returned to the forefront a speech communications class was studying debate.

One of their debate topics included the issue of an open or closed campus.

In fact, some students in that class are also on the committee looking at the issue for real.

“They presented us with some information on the pros and cons from that particular class discussion,” Russell said.

“We got to thinking that we needed more input from not only students but also from the community. So we talked about a survey.”

From that came two similar surveys created by the students.

They are meant to get the opinions from two different groups — one from students at the high school and junior high and the other from any residents interested in offering their opinions on the issue.

Even if the high school campus remains open in the future, Russell is certain some changes or modifications will be made at some point to the current lunch routine, which includes all students having lunch at the same time.

The superintendent also stresses this issue is just too big for the process to move very fast.

“This is not one of those things that’s going to be done very quickly,” he said.

“I do not see it being implemented at the start of the next school term. I just don’t see that it’s going to be done.

“But we’ll at least have some answers and maybe we can make it better, out of our discussions.”

Russell is also hoping to get enough surveys back by the next committee meeting to bring them into the discussion.

Whatever response does come, the committee appears to be focused on a couple of high-priority items.

“One has to do with the distribution of lunch room services at the high school,” Russell said.

That can be broken down to include the question of whether or not a cafeteria will be established in both an open or closed campus scenario.

As of now the only lunch activity done at the high school is offering some pre-ordered meals served up in the gym lobby.

“We’re going to talk about the pros and the cons and the problems we have and the mandates we have to meet in terms of food service,” he said.

Another big issue for the committee is safety during the lunch hour.

That will include presentations from local police and others on safety issues and ways to make improvements.

“These are two things we know we’re going to have meetings over and discussions.”

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