By Tiffany L. Rehbein
A group of at least 19 people will be chosen within a week to review the possible addition or elimination of student athletic activities at Havre High School, the school board unanimously approved Monday night.
Athletics are the heart of the Havre community in a lot of instances, said Superintendent Kirk Miller.
Numerous requests about adding soccer, softball and cross country to the MHSA sanctioned sports offered at the high school have been presented to the board. These requests prompted the making of this committee.
More than one request has come to us, said Miller in an interview before the meeting. The task force will enable us the maximum ability to gain input.
The task force, as termed by Miller, will provide the Havre School Board of Trustees with a series of written alternatives addressing the addition and/or deletion of athletic programs at Havre High School.
The goal of the task force will be to list all of the alternatives available and that we, in a healthy manner, discuss adding an activity or deleting an activity, Miller said.
Parameters guarding the committees work include full representation by affected parties. Miller suggested that a representative become a task force member from the Soccer Association, the Youth Softball Association and from the cross country group.
The committee would also seek public input in all matters.
This will be a public meeting that addresses business issues, unlike, for example, a school board meeting that is a business meeting that addresses public matters, Miller said.
By approving the athletic review task force, the board said it is looking at pertinent issues at the high school and it said this is a direction in athletics that they choose to go, he said.
This group will not be making the decision to add or delete, Trustee Kathie Newell stressed. The community needs to know this, that the community will have an opportunity for input at all public meetings.
Miller hopes to see a draft proposal of the committees work to be ready for presentation to the groups affected by changes no later than Nov. 30, 1999. He would also like to see ready a final report containing all alternatives presented to the school board no later than Feb. 8, 2000.
Task force members would take into consideration things like time involvement, travel cost, coaching issues, money issues and enrollment.
Then, without naming specific people, Miller suggested at least 19 people who should serve as members.
This is a healthy size group and all are going to have diverse attitudes, Miller said.
The board approved veteran trustee Jim Heberly and newcomer Denise Thompson to represent the board as members on the task force.
Miller will undertake the job of collecting memberships for the task force next week. Prospective members will need a focus and they will need some background with figures and pros and cons to each alternative sport, he said.
There will be challenges, Im sure, but well do the best that we can, Miller said.