Participant fees discussed

School Board proposal would change Tier 1, Tier 2 funding

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— Steamboat Springs student-athletes playing Tier 1 and Tier 2 sports would pay the same base fees to the school district under a proposal discussed Monday.

Dale Mellor, the Steamboat Springs School District's finance director, made the sports funding proposal to the School Board during its study session. No action was taken.

Under the proposal, all students would pay $150 per sport, with a maximum of $300 per year paid to the district to participate in extracurricular activities.

Students on Tier 1 teams and clubs currently pay $100 per activity with a maximum of $200 per year. Tier 2 participants don't pay a base fee but rather are responsible for all costs associated with their activity.

Tier 1 sports and activities include football, volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls soccer, boys and girls basketball, wrestling, boys and girls track, speech, dance, band and choir. The district's Tier 2 sports are golf, softball, skiing, hockey, tennis, baseball, lacrosse and cheerleading.

Mellor's proposal stipulates that all students still would have to pay for hotel rooms, and Tier 2 participants still would have to pay any additional costs for their sports, including equipment fees.

The proposal stems from concerns about student safety - specifically riding to events in individual vehicles instead of buses, Mellor said. Coaching and transportation costs would be paid by the $150 per student fee, which would ensure that students were driven on district buses to all events.

The fees for Tier 1 activities would not be used to subsidize Tier 2 activities, but would be used to offset the increase in transportation and coaching fees.

Funding from the Steamboat Springs Booster Club also would be changed to eliminate the $8,000 paid annually to the district for assistant coaches and replaced with $16,000 dedicated specifically to Tier 2 activity costs. The district would then pay all coaching salaries through the student fees.

School Board members questioned other aspects of the tier system, such as when sports are moved from one tier to the other.

"When you look at wrestling ... there are only four students, and my question is, how do you decide a Tier 1 sport isn't viable?" asked board member John DeVincentis, who noted he was a former wrestler.

Several parents and high school Athletics and Activities Director Richard Lee spoke in favor of the reconfiguration, which is the product of parent meetings over the course of two years.

The board voted to request that Superintendent Shalee Cunningham provide a report detailing student activity fees for the next board meeting Aug. 18. The board will discuss the proposal and possibly vote on it at that time.

Taulman accepted

The board also formally approved the contract of Kevin Taulman as interim principal of Steamboat Springs High School. The board voted 4-0 in favor of his acceptance. School Board Vice President Denise Connelly was not present at the meeting.

Taulman, formerly the school's assistant principal, has been acting as principal since the position was offered to him by Cunningham in mid-July.

"It's my pleasure to make this recommendation," she said, adding that the two applicants for the assistant principal position will be interviewed Wednesday.

Taulman will receive a salary of $98,503.

The board also held a discussion about the administrator contract renewal schedule.

"Some people were concerned that April 8 is too late to have contracts renewed or non-renewed," said Board President Robin Crossan, referring to the current time schedule for administrator reviews.

It was suggested that the board advise administrators whether their contracts will be renewed earlier in the year to allow both the district and the administrator to find new prospects.

"The last couple of years they've been going back farther and farther until last year we had what occurred," said DeVincentis, referring to the June 9 contract non-renewal of former high school principal Mike Knezevich.

Construction

Todd Ficken, project manager for the school district's construction projects, reported to the board that construction was proceeding as planned for all three sites in the district.

"They're very, very close to buttoning up the construction part of the project" at Soda Creek Elementary School, he said. "The heavy work is fast coming to an end."

Despite the fast schedule, Ficken said the Steamboat Springs Middle School will have scaffolding tunnels, similar to what is over the sidewalk on the 700 block of Lincoln Avenue, for the first few weeks of the new school year.

- To reach Zach Fridell, call 871-4208 or e-mail zfridell@steamboatpilot.com

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