Skyline High School is adding a new class to its curriculum soon, one that allows team captains and club presidents to congregate and meet once a week for leadership training.
Wednesday evening the Idaho Falls School District Board of Trustees approved a new class — initiated by Skyline athletic director Gregg Baczuk — which would allow sports and extracurricular activity “captains” at Skyline to meet Mondays with Baczuk to discuss leadership training, sportsmanship and community engagement at sporting events.
The trimester-long class is worth one credit.
While recognizing local athletes’ positive behavior on the field and court in recent years, Baczuk said a lack of sportsmanship at the community level is a growing “epidemic” that needs to be addressed.
He said the class will mentor local sports captains and club leaders in “promoting positive sportsmanship” — hoping to combat the issue of problematic behavior occasionally shown at sporting events.
After hearing Baczuk’s initial pitch, trustee Lara Hill asked Baczuk whether the class would extend to other extracurricular activities that don’t fit under the traditional sports category: dance, cheer, drama, debate, speech and music.
Baczuk agreed, saying that fine arts and club presidents also will be involved in the leadership training. He hopes to start the class during the fall.
“I want kids to know positive examples of sportsmanship,” Baczuk said.
Trustee Deidre Warden approved of the class during Wednesday’s annual meeting, noting the increase of “student-on-student” violence and hazing.
During the 2015–2016 school year, 79 percent of public schools recorded that one or more incidents of violence, theft or other crimes had taken place, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
About 3 percent of students ages 12–18 reported being afraid of an attack or being harmed at school during the 2015-16 school year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
Taylorview hit hard by flu, cold
Close to 25 percent of Taylorview Middle School’s students have been affected by the flu or colds this winter, dropping attendance and overall health of the school, District 91 Superintendent George Boland said at Wednesday’s meeting.
“Everyday has been a little bit different,” Taylorview principal Kathy Smith said. “We’ve had quite the absences.”
The increased absences come during a time of year when the flu and colds are common. Idaho saw 101 flu-related deaths last year, the Idaho Statesman reported back in December.
“We encourage those who are sick to please stay home,” Boland said. He added the importance of washing your hands and cleaning work spaces during the winter months.
New security doors for elementary schools
Four local elementary schools rung in the new year with new entry doors.
Students, teachers and administrators at Fox Hollow, Hawthorne, Linden Park and Sunnyside elementary schools returned to school Jan. 7 with new security doors that are equipped with sensors.
The sensors are installed in the inside of the door, as a manual switch can open the door from about 16 feet. The switches are inside the building.
The doors were installed Jan. 2 and cost a combined $100,000 ($25,000 each school), according to the permit application.
“Overall, the general consensus from the community here at Sunnyside, is that we’re excited to have more security,” Sunnyside Principal Kylie Dixon said.