JPS to look farther for athletic opponentsJamestown High School athletics took the first step toward playing more out-of-state opponents at Monday’s Jamestown Public School Board meeting. The board heard from Jim Roaldson, high school activity director, on ending regulations that teams can only compete up to 150 miles outside of North Dakota’s borders.
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
Jamestown High School athletics took the first step toward playing more out-of-state opponents at Monday’s Jamestown Public School Board meeting.
The board heard from Jim Roaldson, high school activity director, on ending regulations that teams can only compete up to 150 miles outside of North Dakota’s borders.
“I guess I’m just coming to you to allow coaches and myself to use some common sense in the scheduling,” Roaldson said.
He said he believed Jamestown could find more appropriate competition for invitational tournaments in Minnesota and South Dakota. He also said it could save on travel costs by not playing out in the Oil Patch so much.
Gymnastics, boys’ soccer, volleyball, swimming and diving, and cross country would benefit from an expanded field of competition, Roaldson said.
“I’d like to be able to go into Minnesota if possible and match up our teams in a more competitive setting,” he said.
The board unanimously approved the decision to remove that part of the district’s policy. A second and final reading will come at later meetings.
Roaldson also got unanimous support to start scheduling tournaments for next year due to time constraints, even though the final version of the policy change was not officially in place.
Student athletes will start to see another change, coming in the form of brain scans to be used in the event of a concussion.
Roaldson updated the board on the progress of imPACT, a neurological software program. In the near future all high school athletes will spend 45 minutes getting a neurological reading from the system.
That reading will be used in the event of a head injury to determine where the athlete is at in terms of recovery.
Although it can’t be used to determine if an athlete should return to playing, it will be a tool offering data to coaches and parents.
“We as a school district cannot make that decision, so we would send them back to their primary-care physician to make that call,” Roaldson said.
The School Board also approved the addition of more advanced mathematics classes for JHS.
The high school math department was given unanimous approval to offer a statistics and probability class, along with a discrete mathematics course for junior and seniors starting in the 2013-2014 school year.
Both offer an alternative for juniors and seniors who don’t want to take pre-calculus or consumer math.
“Since the No Child Left Behind law, all the changes in the math department that have been made have been made for the benefit of lower-level students,” said Glenn Harris, JHS math teacher. “Not a single change has been made to benefit the higher-level students.”
Harris would teach statistics and probability and David McDowell would teach discrete math. McDowell said discrete math deals with numbers that can’t be subdivided.
McDowell said a good example of discrete math was discussed earlier in the meeting when the board discussed redrawing the district map that determines where students go to school based on where they live.
Specifically, the issue was three parts of Jamestown known as flex areas. Each flex area is a part of town where students can go to one of two schools instead of one, without getting a waiver request.
“The purpose of the (flex) areas are to help us balance class sizes,” said David Saxberg, JPS director of elementary education.
Nyla Kleingartner, who runs Nyla’s Daycare in northeast Jamestown, wanted to see the flex areas disappear altogether.
Kleingartner said she is missing out on an increase in state benefits because her daycare is located in a flex area. If there was no flex area she and other daycare operators in that section of town could save more than $17,700 combined.
“I guess the flex areas make us not able to participate in the programs we are eligible for because we are in a two-school system,” Kleingartner said.
Removing flex areas could create a number of conflicts and unless students were grandfathered into their current schools, parents could be upset about their child having to switch elementary schools.
The board discussed the idea but because of the work involved, redoing the district’s map would have to take place in the summer, said Bob Toso, superintendent.
“Dave (Saxberg) and I have had conversations about redrawing our district areas,” Toso said. “We know we have to do that — it’s such a huge task.”
Also redrawing map lines so a business could benefit could open a can of worms, said Diane Hanson, board member.
“… Just going at this Willy-nilly doesn’t make any sense,” Hanson said. “Carving out doesn’t make sense because there will be something down the road, my thought would be eliminating the areas, or holding the line.”
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org