Superintendent Tackles Sports Frustration at Sterling High School – Sterling Journal-Advocate


Athletics at Sterling High School continues to be a topic of discussion for the RE-1 Valley School Board.

At Monday’s meeting, Joel McCracken shared that quite a few parents have contacted him with frustration about how things are going. It comes two weeks after Makayla Chartier shared the concerns she heard from parents and students. McCracken hoped that with the arrival of new leadership at the school the following year, following the retirement of SMS principal Bob Hall, perhaps the problem could be better addressed.

“It disappoints me if what I hear is true, so I will probably start asking a few questions. I know my kids played sports in high school and it’s not always great, but it was a good experience,” he said. “I don’t know what’s going on right now, but I think we should probably ask a few questions.”

Interim superintendent Dr. Martin Foster told the board that he spoke with Hall and athletic director Anthony Serrato after the last meeting, and the main problem appears to be that the school is struggling to find sixth grade games. In September, the council instructed SMS to allow sixth graders to play on athletics teams, thinking that other schools had sixth graders teams they could play against, but that didn’t happen, sixth graders don’t actually participate in other schools. SMS League.

“We got a lot of sixth graders, so it immediately became a problem. I think there were also some issues with the kids being able to play up and down between classes, which obviously could be some very, very talented young players, and there could be some issues with them taking up more playing time than there was. would,” said Dr. Foster.

He suggested that when league meetings take place this spring and schools discuss schedules and scheduled teams, the focus should be on figuring out the best way to make this work if SMS is one of the few schools that actually has sixth grade teams.

“When you have time in the spring to plan for next year, I think we will be in a better position,” said Dr. Foster. “I know there has been a lot of discussion on this across the board and as we move into a new executive leadership I will focus on this with whoever is the new director and our goal will be to is to improve the program and I think we can do that. It’s just been a tough year trying to get that job. It gets better, I’m sure.”

During his superintendent’s report, Dr. Foster shared the schedules for selecting new principals from SMS and Sterling High School. Both vacancies were open for applications and will remain open until 21 February. He expects there to be candidates from both within and outside the district. The selection of applicants will take place on February 23 for SHS and February 24 for SMS, in the hope that four or five applicants can be selected for interview.

The district will review references and call candidates to schedule interviews for both positions on February 24-27, and the selection committee will conduct in-person interviews with candidates, if possible, on March 1, 2, or 3. The SHS selection committee will be composed of six teachers, two classified staff, two parents, two administrators and two students, while the SMS committee will be the same except for the students. The selection committee will be able to contribute to the selection of candidates, and Dr. Foster hopes that the decision on who to recommend for the job can be made on the last day of the interview.

The interim superintendent expects the board to meet the committee’s recommended candidates and consider taking action at its March 6 meeting.

“I think this is a much better approach than trying to do it in April and May,” said Dr. Foster, explaining that he wants to complete the process before spring break, March 13-17, so the school district is not at risk. skip candidates because they have already taken a job elsewhere.

He has also set up a committee to develop the 2023-2024 calendar and expects to submit a proposal to the board no later than February 21 or March 6.

Dr. Foster also announced the registration. As of January 20, the number of students was 1959, which is six less than on October 1, and a lot compared to May 2023, 2022. He hopes the district will be able to maintain this level for the remainder of the school year.

As part of the action, the council approved school closures on January 18 and 19. Dr. Foster explained that the school was closed on the first day due to predicted adverse weather conditions, and on the second day they were unable to conduct classes due to numerous roads. closes. With the district currently taking a total of six snow days and only five on the calendar, Dr. Foster planned to speak with principals on Tuesday about how to make up for the lost time so that the district could meet the required time to communicate with students.

The Board also approved an updated budget development schedule for the addition of a health insurance committee. The committee has already been formed and will negotiate with the county’s insurance broker between February and April with recommendations to be presented to the council on May 1. The preliminary budget will be presented to the Board of Directors on 15 May and considered for adoption on 1 May. June 19.

Earlier in the meeting, the board approved personnel changes, including the resignation of Alyssa Carney, a paraeducator at Sterling High School; new staff Shelby Rossen, paraeducator at the Hagen Center for Early Education, Britt Doert-Cueva, paraeducator at Ayres Primary School, and Ashley Locke, SMS SSN point; transfer Summer Teigg, SMS for a long time; and side missions for Lauren Payne, Girls’ SMS Basketball, Tyler Corey, Girls’ SMS Basketball, Adam Marshall, Girls’ SMS Basketball, Cheryl Rael, Girls’ SMS Basketball, Jake Busmente, SMS Wrestling, Dylan Prell, SMS Wrestling, Gloria Barriga, SMS Parking Lot Monitor, Cheryl Cooley, SMS Parking Monitor, and Crystal Hansen, SMS Parking Monitor.

During the board presentations, board president Steve Shinn said that discussions were underway with Dr. Foster to extend his contract for another year, and the legal counsel was working on some changes to the contract. He hopes that by the February 6 meeting they will be close to having a final draft.

The Board also heard from Assistant Superintendent Ron Marostica, who spoke about the CTE (career and technical education) meeting that took place that day. All CTE teachers were present and discussed what needs to happen in order for the school district to receive all future Career and Technology Act (CTA) refunds.

RE-1 lost a significant portion of its CTA refund last year because “we just didn’t comply across the board,” Marostica said. The course titles did not fully match the approved programs, and there were more than 24 students per class than allowed. In order to address the class size issue most likely to occur at SHS, the possible placement of some students in a Caliche High School classroom, if space is available, was discussed via an online format.

“The discussion was really amazing, they came up with some great ideas,” Marostica said, adding that they also talked about trying to figure out how to get more CTE time from the current staff, perhaps by having instructors run CTE courses alongside their regular classes. courses, as does Scott Walker, who teaches business and mathematics at SHS.

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