The Crookston Public Schools Long-Range Planning Committee met on Tuesday night. The only action taken by the committee was to forward consideration to discontinue the co-op with Fisher School for girl’s and boy’s hockey.
Activities Director Greg Garmen told those attending the meeting that the hockey numbers are expected to be strong in girls hockey with 33 girls expected to be out next season. Those numbers are expected to grow to 38 in 2020-2021, and 44 in 2019-2022 based on current youth participation. Superintendent Jeremy Olson said the administration is recommending discontinuing the co-op with Fisher to serve the strategic interest of the district at this time. “On May 28 we’re going to be looking at do the co-ops with Fisher for both boy’s and girl’s hockey serve the strategic interest of Crookston Public Schools,” said Olson. “The recommendation from the administration will be to not have a co-op with Fisher for girl’s and boy’s hockey because we don’t feel that serves Crookston’s best interest.”
That strategic interest includes the potential for students located in Crookston to leave Crookston to attend Fisher and then come back to play for Crookston. Fisher also only had one girl’s hockey player as part of the co-op this past year and there hasn’t been a boy’s hockey player from Fisher in several years. The administration and committee felt the co-op with the Mayville/Portland School District is still in the best interest of the girl’s hockey program. “A lot of the decision comes down to participation,” said Olson. “Right now, we have strong participation from Mayville and feel they strengthen our programs. We want to maintain that partnership.”
The other discussion was looking at the list of sports and activities to determine what was the right list of activities for Crookston given its size. Forty-three percent of students participate in fall and spring sports, with forty-two percent participating in the winter Garmen told the group. Olson said the idea is to find the right number of programs for Crookston to provide quality opportunities, including strength training, active coaches and youth feeder programs. “We are working on what does quality look like in extra-curricular sports,” said Olson. “Those indicators are going to include things like summer weightlifting, feeder programs, and some indicators as far as participation. Really trying to lay out what does a quality extracurricular sport really look like. What should we be seeking, what are our expectations for our sports. The bottom line is making sure our sports and extracurricular activities are moving in the right direction.”
Tai Baig was a student who attended the meeting and said one of the things he was worried about was extracurricular programs like theater and knowledge bowl. He also said it’s been common for the students at practice to be discussing whether their sport would be around next year. And added he’d really like to see the district have a home track and better soccer field. Olson said the idea of defining quality is to set up a long-range plan for providing activities to Crookston students. “In a word, we’re seeking quality across the board,” said Olson. “Not to be confusing, quality can’t be the only component. We can have a really strong quality program, if we don’t have participants it’s going to be very difficult long-term. When talking about quality, participation has to be a factor, but there is no then just the quantity as well.”
The School Board will consider discontinuing the Fisher boy’s and girl’s hockey co-op at their May 28 meeting. The school board has also asked the administrative staff to come up with a definition of quality activities that considers participation, active coaches, youth feeder program, strength training among other indicators for the next Long-Range Planning Committee meeting.