Middle Park High School: Students want a school newspaper, school working to find a way
School leaders could establish golf as a school sport and are considering making a class for the creation of a school newspaper.
The discussion for the changes is based on a Colorado High School Activity Association interest survey taken by about 350 students in eighth through eleventh grades.
“(The survey’s purpose) is to find out if what we’re providing is what the students wanted, which we basically found out that, yes we are providing what’s needed and wanted,” said Marlo Klassen, Middle Park High School Athletic Director. “Naturally, there were students that put things down that aren’t sponsored by CHSAA.”
The survey results showed: 63 percent of students feel their sport needs are either being met, or they are not interested in athletic participation; 79 percent said they are able to participate in the sports they are interested in. The most important sports selection for students are basketball, football, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, track and field, and volleyball.
The sports currently offered at Middle Park include: cross-country, soccer, boys football, golf, basketball, boys wresting, Nordic ski, Alpine ski, boys baseball, girls softball and girls volleyball.
The activities portion of the survey showed that 109 students are interested in a school newspaper; and 100 people are interested in a speech and debate team; 29 students already participate in athletic training and 60 students said they are interested; 21 students participate in drama while 47 said they would like to.
It would be challenging to add new sports or curriculum right away because the district would have to hire more personnel, Klassen said.
The survey also showed that there is a gap in male/female participation. Some of the sports girls are interested in fall in the same season as volleyball and softball, he said. The district would like to develop a strategic plan to increase female participation for the 2009-10 year, Klassen said.
“We need to somehow figure out a way to get more girls out,” he added. “That’s why we did the survey to see what the interest is that’s out there.”
They will work with students, coaches, teachers and parents to boost participate, he said.
The students were surveyed in mid-December. This is the first time the district has conducted the survey, he said.
Klassen recommended that East Grand School District recognize golf as a sport.
He made this recommendation at the East Grand Board of Education meeting Tuesday night. Golf currently has positive participation and funding is available to cover the cost of coaching and travel, district documents said.
Middle Park High School Principal Jane Harmon and newspaper advisor Joe Kelley recommended the school continue to publish its school newspaper in conjunction with the Sky-Hi Daily News for the remainder of the 2008-09 school year.
“They have more of a structured layout working with the Sky-Hi Daily News,” Kelley said. “We do feel like there is an ability to reach the whole community.”
The MPHS Open Book could become a centerpiece of the newspaper, and publish more frequently, he said.
“In my conversations with all of the students who were involved in the last issue they felt very positive about the association with Sky-Hi,” Harmon said. “The idea
eventually would be to take that as a publication in the middle of the paper so that students could pull that out and hand it to their peers, thereby feeling a little more ownership and really see it as our paper. That would also allow them to enter some competitions and those type of things to be recognized for their work.”
The district will have to decide how credit would be applied if the school newspaper is accepted as a course, she said.
Partnership grants could also assist with training, technology and printing costs, she added.
Sky-Hi Daily News Managing Editor Autumn Phillips was at the meeting to answer questions.
“We’re doing really well. We have an awesome partnership with the Sky-Hi Daily News,” said Michaela Gibboni, editor of MPHS Open Book. “One of our biggest obstacles right now is (not knowing how to lay out pages), and that’s just something we’re all pretty much completely ignorant to. So we’re going to hopefully work on that because if we can do our layout we automatically have more freedom.”
Open Book comes out once a month. Last month, Sky-Hi Daily News printed an extra 400 copies for students to distribute at the high school. Extra printing costs for the school newspaper were covered by a grant from the Lions Club.
“The kids need your help and we need time to get this figured out,” Superintendent Nancy Karas said to Phillips. “So, I want to thank you for stepping to the plate and being a part of the community.”
” Katie Looby covers government and education for the Sky-Hi Daily News. You may reach her at 887-3334 ext. 19601 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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