JPS athletics, Committee to implement changes to programsAthletics in Jamestown, from youth programs to varsity sports, took a step in a new direction after a committee submitted a strategic plan report at Monday’s Jamestown Public School Board meeting.
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
Athletics in Jamestown, from youth programs to varsity sports, took a step in a new direction after a committee submitted a strategic plan report at Monday’s Jamestown Public School Board meeting.
The Strategic Planning Committee has been meeting for more than three months to develop a plan for the future of Jamestown athletics.
The board on Monday approved the decision to move forward with a third and final committee to implement the changes the committee presented.
“This isn’t going to be something you can launch and leave,” said Jim Boyd, SPC facilitator. “It’s going to be launch and guide to the target.”
The SPC recommended a reorganization of communication in athletics. SPC member Dustin Jensen called it a “shift in paradigms.”
“There are two things upon which this whole project depends — they are change and leadership,” said Terry Anderson, SPC member. “Change is difficult for a lot of us, but positive change can be good.
“We have to open ourselves to change so we can move from where we are, to where the level of excellence is we want to achieve,” he added.
This is the first the School Board has formally heard of the shift to vertical communication in its programs. SPC presented these findings to the Jamestown Parks and Recreation Commission on March 12. Head high school coaches will work within similar programs offered here.
The SPC came after an extensive data analysis from the Athletics and Co-curricular Activities Committee met for more than a year.
“You’re buying into a program,” Jensen said of the communication shift. “The fifth-grade basketball for example, is part of a program that goes all the way up to the varsity level.”
Coaches for each sport would work with sub-varsity coaches, elementary coaches and non-district feeder or development program coaches.
“We want to focus on empowering that path to work with everyone from top to bottom,” Jensen said.
Gail Martin, School Board member, was quick to give current administration praise — even with possible changes on the horizon.
“I feel bad for Jim Roaldson (Jamestown High School activities director), I feel like he’s been on the line in this entire process and we’ve put him in the old organizational chart,” Martin said. “Jim tried to function the way it always used to function, and now we need to give him an opportunity to function under the new umbrella and see how that goes.”
The SPC did suggest that the district hire two new employees to work with athletics, a strength coach and a dedicated trainer.
Todd Hudspeth, Jamestown Regional Medical Center CEO, was present at the meeting to discuss JRMC’s interest in helping fill one of these positions.
In the short-term, Hudspeth said JRMC would be interested in subsidizing half the salary for a trainer, because it has the in-house resources necessary to fill the position.
Hudspeth said JRMC also has the resources to possibly provide physical therapy personnel at some home sporting events if multiple ones are occurring at the same time.
Lawrie Paulson, Jamestown College athletics director, said JC might be willing to help with a trainer as well.
He said JC could use another trainer, but that he doesn’t have the authority to give a commitment.
“We, too, are trying to balance our budget,” Paulson said.
Toso said some changes presented could take place between two weeks and a month, pending board approval. No committee to implement the changes was formally named, although it is likely two School Board members will serve.
“This is huge for our district,” said board President Greg Allen. “I just can’t tell you how much this would mean to us, and we could have the opportunity to make a huge change — and the board cannot drop the ball.”
In other business Monday, the School Board agreed to reclassify nine employees from administrators to non-teaching professional staff.
Mike Armitage, district technology director, asked the board to make the change.
Those who will change definitions are social workers, a speech pathology assistant, curriculum and professional development coordinator, a farm management business instructor and coordinator and drug-free coordinator.
“We feel it is in the best interest of the district and the board to identify the members with similar duties and responsibilities as members of the administrator group and to place the other members not identified as administrators in either a new group or an existing group,” Armitage said.
The reorganization means the new group could petition to negotiate for its salaries, similar to what the Jamestown Education Association did last summer.
In other news:
* Gail Wold, current middle school principal in Beulah, N.D., was named new principal of Jamestown Middle School for the 2012-2013 school year. She was selected over John Lynch and Marcia Bartok.
* The board agreed to update members’ laptops at a cost of $375 per unit for 19 units. The current laptops will be recycled back into classrooms and the lease on the current units will soon expire.
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at email@example.com