ST. LEON – Part of the Sunman-Dearborn Community School Corp. strategic plan is to insure the schools are inviting. At the July 11 board meeting, superintendent Dr. Jeff Hendrix announced that a committee has created a community relations survey for community members, staff and students “in order to gain feedback … on areas that need improvement.”
Different groups will answer questions on separate surveys. Hendrix expects they will be on school Web sites this fall and citizens will be notified.
East Central High School athletic director Don Stonefield reported on how athletes fare in the classrooms. “We have 607 athletes who participate in teams and groups.” Their overall grade-point average is 3.24.
He also compiled team GPA averages. The highs and lows for boys: tennis, 3.79; golf, 2.85; girls: cross country, 3.75; cheerleading, 3.08.
Stonefield pledged to brief coaches on his findings in the fall “to try to make it a competitive contest” to improve grades. Six of 37 student-athletes who were labeled at-risk (2.2 or lower GPAs) have graduated. He will ask coaches of the remaining teens to pay special attention, encouraging them to do well on homework and tests.
Board President Jeff Lyness said he appreciated the director talking with coaches about at-risk students. Hendrix noted, “We actually have student-athletes, not just athletes ... To have successful (sports) programs, you have to have successful kids who get those leadership skills in the classroom and take them to the fields. We should be very proud we have a school system that supports both of these elements – academics and athletics together.”
For both the Indiana High School Athletic Association and ECHS, roughly 40 percent of females and 60 percent of males participate in sports. At ECHS, gymnastics is not offered, but cheerleading is, although that sport is not recognized by IHSAA. ECHS’ male participation declined by 20 and the number of females increased by 32 in the past school year. The numbers “won’t shift much,” because many teams are capped. Trustee Glenn Scholl asked which sport increased its numbers the most. The answer was girls swimming with 18 teammates, up from seven.