Administrators and board members with Sheridan County School District 1 have tentatively formed a policy that would map out a process to add new sports to the district.
During a meeting Friday morning in Ranchester the district created a three-step policy that would begin with a letter of interest to the superintendent from someone interested in adding an extra-curricular activity.
Superintendent Marty Kobza explains that the ultimate goal is to save the district money but also offer more options to students.
When the district sends a student to play in a Sheridan County School District 2 sport not offered by District 1 it incurs a cost of $1,000 per student, capping that amount at $15,000 in the case that more than 15 students play in one sport.
Kobza said, and his statement was reiterated by others in attendance, that he knows of several students who move from District 1 to District 2 because of extra-curricular activities offered or travel concerns brought on by playing, for example, soccer in Sheridan and living in Tongue River or Big Horn. Losing a student costs the district $15,000 in ADM funding, according to Business Manager Jeremy Smith. When discussing cost of one sport, that $15,000 is enough money to make up for what they pay District 2 or in turn pay seven different coaches, he noted.
Other activities discussed included speech, debate and forensics, cross country, indoor track, and cheerleading or dance.
The work-in-progress policy would include a survey of schools to measure numbers of interested students. In order to be brought to the board for consideration, surveys would need to bring back a minimum of 10 interested students for an individual sport and 1.5 times the required number of participants for a team sport. (1.5 X 11 for soccer)
The board would then look at financial feasibility, sustainability of the program, facilities, personnel, and their impact on existing sports (wrestling's impact on basketball, since they are both winter sports). The board will consider the policy at their next meeting Tuesday night in Ranchester.