The North Dakota High School Activities Association has decided to move Jamestown High School football back to the AAA East Division starting with the 2019-20 school year, the Jamestown Public School Board learned Monday.
The current NDHSAA plan is to increase the 14-team AAA division to 16 teams by adding JHS and Fargo Shanley, said Robert Lech, superintendent of Jamestown Public School District.
"The plan as presented does not address our specific concerns," Lech said. "The current alignment better suits Jamestown High School specifically, and I believe it is a better plan than shifting teams to different divisions."
The 2018 JHS football team is currently in its second season as a member of the Statewide AA Division of medium-size schools with a record of 1-1. The 2017 football team finished 6-4 for the season.
Jamestown would do better in competing against the more similar-sized schools in AA, Lech said.
According to Jim Roaldson, activities director for Jamestown High School, in 2016 the NDHSAA readjusted its formula to determine classification and restructured state high school football into 14 Class AAA teams in two regions, 10 AA teams in one statewide region, 32 A teams in four regions and 42 nine-man teams in six regions. JHS and Devils Lake High School both moved down to AA from AAA in the change, he said.
Lech said he and Roaldson had several discussions with the NDHSAA board. The district requested reconsideration from the placement back to AAA in April, he said.
The NDHSAA football committee bases decisions on several criteria, including the number of teams per classification, enrollment equations of male students in grades 7-10 and other factors, Lech said. To date there has been no indication that the NDHSAA will change its plan to return Jamestown to AAA, he said.
Heidi Larson, school board vice president, asked Lech if the NDHSAA football committee's process allowed for feedback and if it took the school district's concerns into its decision.
There was an official request for reconsideration along with testimony and information, Lech said. There were a number of conversations, but the response was that the NDHSAA was moving forward with its plan.
"Everybody understands what our concerns are," Lech said.
Early voting for the school district's special election to consider a $34.4 million general obligation school building bond started Sept. 10, Lech said. Residents of the school district can vote weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Monday at the Stutsman County Courthouse.
Election day hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 25, at the Jamestown Civic Center.
Lech said school board members have been helping provide information about the school building and renovation projects to the public both in person and electronically. The members of the Citizen's Advisory Committee have worked to point people to the school district website or hand out fact sheets on the project to be decided with a special election.