Glenville-Emmons looks at sharing athletics

Published 10:42 am Thursday, July 18, 2013

Superintendent says sharing adds opportunities

GLENVILLE — For a variety of reasons, Glenville-Emmons school administrators are looking at the possibility of sharing athletic programs with nearby schools.

Superintendent Jerry Reshetar said administrators and the school board have been thinking about the issue for about a year. With more meetings and input from parents, students and the public during the upcoming school year, they hope to have a decision made for the start of the 2014-15 school year.

“We share teachers, buses, textbooks,” Reshetar said. “But we’re not sharing any athletics as of yet.”

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Reshetar said Glenville-Emmons is a part of the Southern Minnesota Education Consortium with fellow school districts Lyle, Pacelli, LeRoy-Ostrander, Southland and Grand Meadow. Of those, some schools are already sharing one or two sports or they share all of them, like how Lyle School District and Pacelli Catholic Schools share all sports with the mascot the Athletics. Reshetar said Glenville-Emmons already shares teachers and classes with those districts in an effort to offer more to students in rural areas. Starting this fall, students in any of those districts can take a German class via webcam.

“It does provide more opportunities,” Reshetar said. “We share superintendents, special education; we share everything we can possibly share in an effort to save money and still provide lots of opportunities for our students.”

Sharing may be just the remedy for athletics as well. Reshetar said Glenville-Emmons will most likely need to partner with another district for football and baseball teams. Glenville-Emmons’ sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade classes have unusually low numbers and have fewer boys than a normal class.

“That’s why it affects football,” Reshetar said. “And probably baseball, because again I have to have nine players like I do on a football team.”

There are many options and hurdles to discuss with other districts before any sharing could happen. Reshetar said within the consortium Glenville-Emmons could partner with Lyle/Pacelli, but they’ve also been in talks with Alden-Conger.

“We need it to be close enough so the transportation is not overwhelming to students,” Reshetar said. “There’s so many things to consider here.”

Some of the considerations they’re discussing are where students would practice, where games would be held, how to transport students and what the sporting schedule would look like.

A special school board meeting was held July 11, and Reshetar said parents and members of the public were there to give their opinions. The district also has a survey it will send to parents, and anyone in the public can offer opinions on the district’s website.

Reshetar said once a decision is made, then the district will have to make the Minnesota State High School League aware since it would affect sport schedules.

The district is not considering sharing athletics with any schools in Iowa. Reshetar said Iowa has two athletic leagues, which would complicate matters more. And their football teams also compete with eight players, whereas Minnesota teams have nine players on the field.

“You can play a contest against a school in Iowa, but you can’t share with them,” Reshetar said. “State high school leagues are very strict in terms of competing.”

More discussion and input is still needed, but Reshetar said there will likely be a sharing option that will help Glenville-Emmons sustain programs and continue to provide opportunities for its students.

“That’s what small, rural schools are looking at right now,” Reshetar said.