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(Neb)-Over 85 Turn Out To Discuss Extra-Curricular Activities In Chadron Schools  Listen

By: John Axtell Posted at: 02/22/2018 11:56 PM
A nearly 2-1/2-hour strategic planning meeting last night on extra-curricular activities in the Chadron school district showed a general consensus on the district's strengths and weaknesses in that area.

      More than 85 people took part in the session. The level of participation thrilled school board president Tom Menke, who admitted he was surprised about some of the issues that were raised.


After a brief introduction to the issue by Alliance Superintendent Troy Unzicker, who acted as facilitator, the participants split up into almost a dozen groups of 5-to-10 and worked for about 45 minutes to come up with lists of strengths, weaknesses, gaps, and opportunities.

      One representative of each group then presented its list, starting with strengths. Better than 20 different things were listed, many variations of each other, but about a half-dozen were listed by each group.

      Those included having great kids, 80-to-90% of whom take part in one or more extra-curricular activity, and great support from staff, coaches, parents, boosters, and the community in general. Also praised were a wide range of activities, a continued emphasis on academics, Chadron State College, and good stewardship of existing facilities and finances.

       The same pattern repeated on weaknesses: many related items common to all the groups and with many ultimately stemming from limited funding such as the need for additional space and facilities, transportation shortages, and the impact on families of participation fees - especially in programs such as FFA and FBLA where students also have to pay state or national dues and fees.

    Another major concern was breakdowns in communication and the flow of information on such things as the reasons for some types of decisions, the chain of command, how state rules impact local decisions in activities, and protocols for seeking sponsorships from local merchants.

    A condensed version of the various lists will be compiled and distributed to last night's participants to study for a follow-up session that will try to come up with answers or plans to address various weaknesses and concerns. Superintendent Dr Caroline Winchester says that with the state basketball tournaments coming up, it will likely be 4-to-6 weeks before that meeting is held.


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