Grand Forks Public Schools move forward with athletics overhaul – Grand Forks Herald

Leaders at Grand Forks Public Schools are set to rework the way the school district runs its sports.

Aside from a handful of technical questions and concerns over budget implications, school board members did not object to Superintendent Terry Brenner and other staff’s proposal on Monday to “dissolve” a sports director. district-wide and two high school activity director positions, spending approximately $ 21,000 more each year to replace them with a district-wide activity director and two high school athletic directors – one for Central High School and Red River High School.

“We’re going to start putting the wheels in motion,” Brenner told the Herald shortly after the meeting. The move did not require a school board vote.

Catherine Gillach, the school district’s deputy secondary superintendent of secondary education, said students and parents can expect more figuratively visible athletic directors in Central and Red River.

“You will have built relationships with this person. You will have access to that person, that person will be there to champion the programs, recruit kids to participate, build leadership among students, provide ongoing evaluative feedback to coaches, ”she said Monday. “Right now… we have one person who has served and supervised all of these coaches and athletes across the district. A person trying to cover and attend games, activities and practices. It’s the breakdown, isn’t it? There is not this relationship that could be built because of the model.

District administrators could begin the reorganization as early as next week, when they should start soliciting nominations for the new position of District Director of Activities. New athletic directors for Red River and Central high schools are expected to be announced the last week of January. Current occupants of those jobs, including current athletic director Mark Rerick, can apply alongside anyone else, according to district staff.

The soon-to-be-old arrangement costs the district $ 371,000 each year, according to documents provided to school board members on Monday. The new setup would cost around $ 393,000 per year, but that figure is based on salaries that other comparable districts in North Dakota pay their high school athletic directors. The new plan would cost around $ 21,849.20 more than the current plan.

“I’m still disappointed that it’s going to cost us more,” Board member Doug Carpenter said Monday. “It might be a better model, but when we have budget issues spending even $ 22,000 more doesn’t make me very happy. “

Board member Cynthia Shabb speculated that the reorganization would mean the district must free up $ 21,000 to pay for the reorganization.

“We’re going to have to make budget cuts, I guess,” she said.

Board member Chris Douthit, who has said he does not plan to run again this summer, asked other board members to trust the judgment of Brenner and the other district trustees.

“I’m going to stay at 10,000 feet,” Douthit said, referring to the metaphorical altitude at which officials make broad decisions. “I will respect their leadership.

The reorganization is a step back from a plan proposed by district staff in the fall, when they considered, in essence, eliminating Rerick’s work and devolving his responsibilities over existing business managers. , Gillach and possibly a director of college activities.

The plan, Gillach told the Herald, would have saved the district money, but she and Brenner said Monday they were not sure what the savings would have been.

More flexible mask requirements, CVC and election agreement

In related news, school board members:

  • Were told, but did not vote, a plan they approved last November to relax the district-wide mask mandate of Grand Forks public schools. The new policy is expected to take effect Jan. 17 and recommends – rather than forcing – students to wear masks while in school. More lenient policy still demands masks in programs that include students or employees with weakened immune systems, in Head Start classrooms, and on school and city buses.
  • Agreed to allocate $ 4 million of the $ 18.49 million the district is expected to receive from a third round of funding through the Federal Fund for emergency relief for elementary and secondary schools – commonly referred to as “ESSER III”. School district administrators estimated the project would cost $ 3.6 million, but they produced that figure before construction costs started to climb last fall. Previous rounds of the same funding are commonly referred to as ESSER I and ESSER II, and they were approximately $ 2.5 million and $ 8 million for the district, respectively.
  • Took over a “joint powers agreement” with Grand Forks County that explains how the county will administer school district elections until the end of 2022. The agreement automatically renews each year, unless county officials or the school district do not object. The new agreement says the county government will pay for joint elections, but the district will pay exclusively for any special elections it asks the county to administer.

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