ELKHART — The possibility of crew and archery teams were hot topics at the Elkhart Community Schools Board of Trustees meeting Tuesday night, Nov. 28.
Rod Roberson, in his new position as District Director of Co-Curricular Programming, spoke to the board regarding his goals and initiatives for the district.
“Our general focus from the start has been trying to make sure that we have an opportunity to meet and connect with the buildings in multiple different ways,” he said.
Roberson presented statistics and information about involvement in school-based athletics based on age, ethnicity, gender and season. He told the board he is urging coaches to get to know their students and discover the top three students in each sport in each grade, regardless of academics.
“When we pulled back that onion, we found some interesting things,” he said.
He presented concerns to the board regarding the decrease in athletic involvement for students as they enter high school (from 822 students in third through sixth grade to 541 from ninth through 12th grade). He believes that part of parent and student interest in staying with a particular school district lies within the co-curriculum programming offered by that district. That, tied in with the high school merger, has raised concerns from parents and the community that there won’t be enough activities for the number of students who wish to be involved.
“We have to create opportunities in multiple different ways,” Roberson said.
JV Lacrosse, Futsal and boys volleyball are all cocurricular activities with potential in the district, but Roberson focused his discussion on crew and archery, which would require the most substantial startup cost. It also puts Elkhart on a more equal competitive level with other schools that are also starting new teams in these sports.