Parents concerned about students cut from teamsSeveral parents concerned about cutting students from athletic programs attended the Jamestown Public School Board’s regular meeting Monday. Parents Margo Haut and Shelly Jystad approached the board at the meeting as well as at a previous meeting. Students need opportunities to get involved, they said.
By: Katie Ryan, The Jamestown Sun
Several parents concerned about cutting students from athletic programs attended the Jamestown Public School Board’s regular meeting Monday.
Parents Margo Haut and Shelly Jystad approached the board at the meeting as well as at a previous meeting. Students need opportunities to get involved, they said.
The issue of cutting arose at the board’s regular meeting on Oct. 19. About 20 girls who had tried out for volleyball were cut from the teams.
“Please give these people another place to participate,” Jystad said.
Some sports cut and some don’t, said Jim Roaldson, athletic director. Sports at Jamestown High School like volleyball, boys and girls basketball and boys hockey have historically been teams that have had to make cuts in the past.
“It’s not something that you did a lot but it’s something that you had to do,” said Superintendent Bob Toso.
In regards to volleyball, coaches typically keep about 40 student athletes for the school’s freshmen, sophomore, junior varsity and varsity teams, Roaldson said. Buses can only transport so many students to competitions, he said.
Some of the cuts included freshmen and sophomores. School Board member Tanya Ostlie said those students are still developing the skills of the game. By their senior year, they could be star players, she said.
“I just hate to discourage them now when they’re starting out,” she said.
Cutting can be a painful process, Roaldson said, but it can open doors for students to participate in other activities.
Ostlie suggested the school offer more teams so more students could play. Those teams could compete against each other or could compete against nearby schools to keep transportation costs down.
“We could certainly entertain and would love to expand in athletics,” said Gail Martin, School Board member.
The district’s concern would be coaching, Toso said, and possibly funding. Adding one ore two volleyball teams would cost the district about $15,000, Roaldson said.
School Board member Gary Peterson said the price tag is worth it.
“Let’s give these other kids a chance,” he said.
One of those chances could be cheerleading.
Some students, including some of the students cut from volleyball, expressed interest in joining a cheerleading squad, Haut said.
The school had cheerleading in the past, but no longer does because the district can’t find a qualified coach.
The district is seeking applicants, Roaldson said. If it finds a qualified adviser, the district will hire him or her, he said.
School Board member Rosemary McDougall said she was worried about the negativism circulating regarding how administrators handle cutting and other aspects of their jobs.
“I think we have to remember that we have to allow them (administrators) to do their jobs,” she said.
Roaldson said the district is also considering adding a fast-pitch softball team.
In other business, in an 8-0 vote with member Scott Walch not present, the board approved hiring an acoustic consultant to make a recommendation for a noise abatement solution for the Jamestown High School pool.
Coaches, instructors and parents have complained that the pool is too noisy to conduct class or practice.
If the board chose to complete the project, the district would pay for it with stimulus dollars.
Also, attendance at James-town Middle School is better than it had been in the past, said Joe Hegland, principal. Absenteeism had been up last month, mostly due to flu-like illness.
Also, Jamestown High School is no longer publishing its newspaper, Blue Jay News.
The former adviser resigned her post and the district has not been able to find a new one, Toso said. The district is seeking help from within its current staff and will also accept applicants from the public.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Jamestown Public School Board is 5:15 p.m. Nov. 16.
Sun reporter Katie Ryan can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by e-mail at email@example.com