Portland Public Colleges is contemplating whether or not to hitch different faculty districts subsequent yr to discipline golf, swimming and indoor observe groups.
The transfer follows declines in each highschool enrollments and participation in these sports activities and comes as cooperative sports activities groups, comprised of scholars from a number of faculties or districts, have gotten extra frequent statewide.
“This can be a technique to proceed to keep up applications when participation has form of fallen to a stage the place (faculties) could not have the ability to preserve a program on their very own,” mentioned Portland Public Colleges Assistant Superintendent Aaron Townsend. “The aim of co-ops is to proceed to maximise alternatives for teenagers to take part.”
The town faculty board is anticipated to take up the proposal as a dialogue merchandise Tuesday, and in addition to debate developing with a course of for approving future cooperative athletic groups, and what the budget impacts could be for athletics and co-curricular actions within the upcoming yr.
The proportion of cooperative groups statewide varies by sport. Virtually 50 % of the groups in some sports activities, reminiscent of hockey, are cooperative groups, based on Mike Burnham, govt director of the interscholastic division of the Maine Principals’ Affiliation, which promotes and administers interscholastic actions, together with sports activities.
“I feel the variety of cooperative groups over the past 10 years has elevated dramatically,” Burnham mentioned. “In some instances it could be due to declining enrollments and fewer athletes and contributors. In different instances, it’s there to provide alternatives for teenagers that wouldn’t in any other case have that chance.”
John LaFond, golf coach at Portland Excessive Faculty, mentioned he’s joyful the board is contemplating the transfer. Deering Excessive Faculty had too few college students to type a golf workforce final yr – a workforce representing each faculties would give extra college students the possibility to compete, he mentioned.
“I’m actually enthusiastic about it,” LaFond mentioned. “I feel will probably be a extremely constructive factor for the youngsters locally and for golf locally as a result of the way forward for golf within the metropolis of Portland is within the junior gamers developing by the ranks.”
Combining swimming, golf and indoor observe groups at Portland and Deering excessive faculties would create a complete financial savings of round $43,000 a yr, though saving cash is just not the motivating issue behind the proposal, Townsend mentioned.
Highschool enrollment in Portland faculties is at present round 2,050 college students, down from 2,239 in 2010, based on supplies to be introduced to the board Tuesday. Twenty-nine % of scholars take part in fall sports activities; 23 % in winter sports activities and 21 % in spring sports activities.
The board can be anticipated to debate Tuesday night time whether or not spring sports activities coaches might be paid stipends given their seasons have been cancelled, and a proposal within the 2020-2021 finances that requires a two %, or $40,000, discount throughout the district’s athletics and co-curricular finances.
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