Intersection between academics and sports

Published: 8/23/2019 9:50:50 AM
Modified: 8/23/2019 9:50:36 AM

The first two words in Tuesday’s article on Mohawk Trail cutting sports teams are “declining enrollment,” leading me to point out the intersection between academic and sports offerings.

When Mohawk Trail decided to eliminate all honors classes three years ago, our children expressed frustrations of boredom with coursework that did not sufficiently challenge them or others. There were few consequences for those who did not complete homework, lending to an environment where many students showed up unprepared for class.

Administration insisted that resources had nothing to do with their decision; it was ideological. They treated parent input as the opposition and shut down suggestions to improve the experiences of students who wanted more intellectual rigor, even when these carried no financial cost (for example, allowing interested and prepared eighth-graders to join a ninth-grade algebra class, which was allowed for one year and abruptly discontinued despite the positive impact on all students in that class). The result: many students have left Mohawk Trail.

From our kids’ sixth-grade class of 24 in Sanderson, at least 11 students have left Mohawk Trail. Many of these students, including my own children, are athletes, so the ripple effect is that sports teams have fewer members as well. I wholeheartedly support continuing to offer sports even when teams are small — these opportunities offer physical fitness, discipline, and community. At the same time, Mohawk Trail needs to examine all reasons that students are leaving the district and reverse course on decisions that contribute to its waning appeal to students.

Wendy Keyser


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