The Ottumwa Courier

Southeast Iowa

May 28, 2014

School activities policy gets reviewed

KEOSAUQUA — The Van Buren School Board is considering changes to its policies dealing with school activities on Wednesday and Sunday.

The board conducted a first reading of a new policy which relaxes the rules somewhat against Wednesday night activities. In the past, the board’s policy was to not allow activities after 6 p.m. on Wednesday.

In December 2012, the time was changed to 6:15 p.m. for Wednesday night.

The policy stated that the district would not conduct activities of any kind after that. Board approval was needed for exceptions.

The time under the new policy read at last week’s meeting is changed to 6:30 p.m. and states that Wednesday night activities after that time “are discouraged.”

The new policy gives the administration the ability “in exceptional circumstances” to allow activities on Wednesday night. Also, the policy would be in effect during the school year, not the summer.

Superintendent Pam Ewell said originally, the proposed new policy would have kept the time at 6:15 p.m., but she had requests from coaches to change it to 6:30 p.m.

Board president Stan Whitten said the district’s current Wednesday night restriction on activities “put the sports teams at a competitive disadvantage to other schools.”

Whitten said he checked with 23 other schools in southeast Iowa and none have a policy on Wednesday night.

He said this was especially critical when the boy’s baseball team has a chance to win the state championship this summer.

He said it was hard to reschedule rainouts during the summer without the possibility of having Wednesday evening as one of the options.

Activity Director Greg Jones said that because coaches work during the day, about the only time to reschedule was in the evenings.

Whitten also commented that the restrictions hurt other sports programs as well. He stated the football team was hindered, because with JV games on Monday, Friday night games and preparing for the Friday night game on Thursday essentially means “the football team has only one and a half days for practice with the current Wednesday night policy.”

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