STMA to keep current activity fees, review continuation of programs

The St. Michael-Albertville School board heard an activities report and agreed to continue the current fees for next year and to review continuation of programs based on participation.

The board also directed purchase of a new baseball field scoreboard, and heard an update about the STMA Soccer Club.



Supt. Jim Behle, activities director Brian Benson and middle school activities director Scott Sukalski made a presentation about current enrollment and activity participation, activity program costs and the rationale for the current fee structure.

Sukalski said 84 percent of middle school students participate in one or more activity or sport, and that the middle schools don’t limit squad size.

Benson said 42 percent of students participate in or more activity or sport at the high school, and that high school squads may be limited.

STMA offers more than 35 different types of activities with a high level of participation, and that salary, benefits and transportation account for 75 percent of expenditures. The board was told that revenues generated by the activities program pay more than 50 percent of the activities costs.

STMA currently has a two-tiered fee structure with fees that are the second lowest among 10 schools in the conference.

Behle recommended the board continue to fun, contingent on overall budget priorities, additional squads during the next one to three years in boys and girls soccer and girls basketball prior to adding new state high school league-sanctioned sports.

Behle also recommended: to support up to 10 middle school assistant coaches contingent upon budget priorities; direct the administration to further investigate options for funding weight coaches; to continue a two-tiered fee system and to keep the current fees for the 2013-14 school year.

Behle also recommended to review continuation of programs based on cost per participant, number of participants, participation trends and club/co-op opportunities.

The board agreed to keep the existing policy and practice regarding squad limit; to continue the current activity and participation practice; and to keep the activity cost fee structure in place.

The board also requested Behle and Benson provide additional detailed data regarding the gymnastics program.



In other news, Supt. Behle reported that the current scoreboard at the baseball field cannot be further repaired, and asked the board to approve an expenditure of $30,000 from bond dollars in the buildings and grounds budget to purchase a basic new scoreboard for the baseball and softball fields.

The board’s consensus was to proceed with allowing the purchase.

Booster donations and fund-raising will pay for decorative tussles and other expenditures.



In further matters, Tom Dawson of STMA Soccer Club was present with a report.

He said there are currently 1,671 players in the soccer club, and that 433 are on travel teams. He commended the school district well maintained fields and using gym space.

Dawson said the club proposed to put up nets at the Middle School East soccer fields, at a cost of $3,500t to $7,000.

Lastly, Dawson presented the board with a check of $1,200 as thanks for what the district does in support of the STMA Soccer Club.

In other action, the board:

ALLOWED a one-time exception to the boys lacrosse team to allow tournament play on one Sunday for the upcoming season, but not to allow games be scheduled on Wednesday evenings, as stated in current policy.