School board to discuss high school swim team, health clinic |

School board to discuss high school swim team, health clinic

— Among the items the Steamboat Springs School Board will be discussing Monday night is an update on the year-old district employees health care clinic, as well as the possibility of implementing an official high school swim team.

Although Superintendent Brad Meeks said that the idea of approving a Colorado High School Activities Association-sanctioned swim team at the high school probably wouldn’t happen until the Nov. 11 board meeting, board members will hear from Athletic Director Luke DeWolfe and swimming club program director Jill Ruppel Monday night.

Right now, Ruppel heads up the club team at the Old Town Hot Springs, which includes competitive swimmers from age 6 up to the high school level. In a letter to the board, Ruppel said many athletes leave the club team once they enter high school to pursue school-sponsored sports.

An official high school swim team could push those kids to continue swimming competitively, she said.

“Lettering in the sport or activity of choice is part of the high school experience,” Ruppel wrote in the letter.

The club team would still exist, and a side-by-side partnership between that squad and the proposed high school team would be a “win-win situation for all,” Ruppel added in the letter.

The board will be presented with a five-year financial plan that lays out separate costs for the proposed boys team and girls team.

The plan spells out a gradual shift in funding from being 100 percent parent-funded in year one, to 100 percent district-funded in year five and beyond. A 25 percent shift in funding over to the district is proposed each year, so parents would pay 75 percent of costs in year two, 50 percent of costs in year three and 25 percent of costs in year four.

On Sunday, Meeks said that in order for a Sailors swim team to become a reality, it is entirely up to school board approval. Girls swimming is in the winter, and boys swimming would take place in the spring.

“They’ve got a strong club program,” Meeks said. “It’s similar over the years with the district adding lacrosse. It’s a CHSAA-sanctioned sport, so it’s up to school board.”

Health clinic update

In April 2012, the school board unanimously approved a new health care clinic for district employees and their dependents through Healthstat Inc. The facility opened right before the start of last school year.

Now that the clinic has been open for more than a year, school board members and district officials will be reviewing first-year operations.

Among those presenting the update will be recently appointed district Director of Human Resources Katie Jacobs, Director of Finance Dale Mellor and district clinicians Brooke Packard and Milad Shah.

It was initially reported in April 2012 that Healthstat Inc. projected $467,000 worth of savings for the district over the course of three years.

To reach Ben Ingersoll, call 970-871-4204, email or follow him on Twitter @BenMIngersoll

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