School Board doesn’t agree on athletics proposalThe Jamestown Public School Board spent an hour Monday discussing proposed changes to athletics throughout the district. JPS Superintendent Bob Toso presented an initial proposal that would establish a clearer chain of command among administrators and coaches while establishing a system to vertically articulate athletics from the middle school to the high school.
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
The Jamestown Public School Board spent an hour Monday discussing proposed changes to athletics throughout the district.
JPS Superintendent Bob Toso presented an initial proposal that would establish a clearer chain of command among administrators and coaches while establishing a system to vertically articulate athletics from the middle school to the high school.
The price tag for the initial proposal is $70,000. Under the proposed changes the district would move activities director Jim Roaldson to the district office, hire another secretary for Roaldson at the district office, give a current teacher additional prep periods to cover athletic direction at the high school, and establish a vertical articulation summer project.
Part of the proposed changes includes running all athletics through the director who would report to administration at the three education levels, the superintendent and finally the School Board.
This follows the activities’ organizational chart the board unanimously adopted in March.
“I know this is a lot of things to throw at you tonight,” Toso said. “I’m not expecting action tonight — this is too much to throw at you in one night and except any action.”
Toso also said the plan was a first proposal and that more input would be needed.
“I have no interest in spending 70 grand ($70,000) in this — sorry,” said Gail Martin, board member “There’s pieces of it that make sense, the vertical articulation summer project might make some sense as a one-time cost to get everybody on board.
“... I’m struggling because I think we need to tweak a little bit on our organizational chart, but I had no intention of yanking Roaldson into the district office, hiring a secretary for him and finding an associate director,” she said.
Toso said administration doesn’t feel comfortable having Mark Stilwell, assistant principal and activities director at the middle school, report to Roaldson, as the adopted organizational chart designated.
“This was your first shot, your dream, your hope when you got together,” said Shelly Jystad, board member. “For you to tell us this is your first shot eight months later is very frustrating to me. If this did not work, something should have been said way back then.”
Toso said the administration has been working on the issue for more than a year, but hasn’t “broadcast” those meetings.
“Administration has said from day one that we did not want a situation where the middle school activities director reported to the high school activities director — if it takes a dotted line to indicate there’s communication, that’s it, it’s done,” Toso said. “We felt the bigger issue with vertical articulation we needed to address. We have had ongoing meetings and ongoing discussion. This is not our first shot as far as responding to the strategic plan. We’ve been working on that since last spring. This is our thoughts after the board meeting two weeks ago.”
Terry Anderson, who worked on committees that addressed this issue before he was elected to serve on the School Board, said the board’s attitude was not going to resolve anything moving forward.
“We don’t all seem to be on the same team, we seem to be butting heads in here and that bothers me,” Anderson said. “We need somebody, or lots of people, that are going to champion this thing.”
Later in the meeting Dustin Jensen, chair of the standing athletics committee made up of community members, said the proposal is something his committee could take back to the newly formed coaches committee for discussion and get input from coaches on the vertical articulation.
“It took the eight months to get to tonight’s proposal, and there’s something with the groups to work from,” Jensen said. “We’re here to help as Terry alluded to; we want to be here championing this.”
It was decided Jensen and the standing committee will work with the coach’s council and bring discussion back to the board.
“I think those groups need to meet get together and move forward with it,” said Greg Allen, board member.
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org