Schools seek consistency in activities |

Schools seek consistency in activities

Danie Harrelson

— The senior linebacker on the football field and the trumpet player in the middle school band will have more in common than their mascot by the start of the next school year.

A committee of coaches, teachers, parents and administrators in the Hayden School District are hoping to put together a consistent set of rules and procedures for students who participate in extracurricular activities at the middle and high schools.

The new guidelines will be placed in handbooks and made available to all students and parents by this time next year, she said, complete with mission statements, training rules, lettering requirements and coaching philosophy.

“We’re trying to get something that does fit an overall philosophy and gets the agreement of parents and coaches and administrators,” Hayden Superintendent Scott Mader said.

“We want this to work for everybody.”

Several meetings have already been held to hammer out a uniform set of guidelines, Hayden High School Principal Nick Schaefer said.

Those meetings will continue throughout the year until people in the district reach consensus on what the best set of guidelines is, he added.

Students are also invited to contribute their input toward the final draft.

“We’ve got a kind of athletic and activities program with a set of guidelines that just doesn’t touch on everything,” Schaefer said. “We are looking to come up with a mission statement and expectations that run across the board.”

Schaefer credited retiring Athletic Director Bob Preator and his successor, Kevin Kleckler, with moving the district forward on a standard set of practices for extracurricular activities.

Most recently it was suggested that coaches and instructors add their own thoughts and individual rules to their particular sports and activities.

Schaefer said the committee wants to eliminate any gray areas that might exist for students who compete in sports or participate in other activities like the school band.

“A lot of it is about communication,” he said.

Middle school principal Colleen Poole agreed the committee’s aim focuses on alerting parents to what their children would be doing in each sport or activity.

“We want everyone to be one the same page coaches, students and parents,” Poole said.

While the middle school’s mission statement has been in effect for several years, the committee is still looking to develop one for the high school, Poole said.

Middle school activities focus more on developing skills and ensuring equal playing time, she added, in contrast to the high school’s emphasis on competition.

New guidelines will require parents to attend preseason meetings held by coaches before practice or a particular sport begins.

“Usually the kids know what’s going on, but it’s the parents who sometimes don’t know what’s going on,” Schaefer said. “We hope to eliminate any questions before the activity even starts.”

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