Concerns raised about the impact on grades
By Jane Myhra
The Iola-Scandinavia School Board voted against allowing students to participate in multiple sports during a single season at its June 8 meeting.
The Central Wisconsin Conference has approved allowing multi-sport participation, but allows each school district to have its own multi-sport policy.
Allowing multi-sport participation would have the most impact on the I-S School District’s spring sports, according to High School Principal Sara Anderson.
“Some small schools claim this is the only way they can maintain sports programs,” Anderson said. “This proposal would allow a student to do all three sports” during a season such as golf, baseball and track.
She explained that a student would need to set a priority sport and the school would notify the CWC of secondary sports prior to the start of the season. Also, a student must compete in at least one regular season event in a secondary sport in order to be eligible to participate in the conference tournament in that sport.
Concerns were voiced about attending practices for multiple sports and participating in multiple events, while still maintaining good grades.
“At some point you are not giving enough energy towards being a student,” said board member Mike Koles. “I worry that we’re putting a focus on athletics over academics.”
“I don’t know how you justify doing two sports and do justice to either of them,” said board member Bruce Beyersdorf. Beyersdorf worried enrollment could be affected if the district did not allow multi-sport participation.
Board President Kristen Hoyord suggested that the district set different academic requirements for multi-sport athletes, if the proposal is approved.
The board unanimously voted to not allow multi-sport participation for the upcoming school year.
In other business, the board approved a 1.62 percent base wage increase for teachers. This is the maximum CPI (Consumer Price Index) increase allowed for July 1 contract renewals.
According to Business Manager Sarah Thiel, a total of $40,813 will be split evenly between teachers returning for the 2015-16 school year based upon their full-time equivalency. With a current FTE of 47 staff, each will receive an annual salary increase of about $868.
Thiel reported there will be no increase in health and dental insurance premiums for 2015-16. The district was able to negotiate the zero increase because of the healthy choices the staff members have made.
“Few districts get this good of a rate,” said District Administrator David Dyb. “Most are facing a 6 percent to 12 percent increase in premiums.”