Some hard words from our junior high principals:
We love seeing students participate in our athletics program! From my point of view, after- school athletics supports our students in multiple ways: 1) fitness level, 2) provides an opportunity to try a new sport (risk-taking), 3) builds positive relationships between students and staff members, 4) increases / supports our students feeling connected to our school, 5) provides practice with time management skills and 6) helps athletes learn commitment and teamwork toward a group goal.
As a public school, we cannot charge “fees” for participation in our athletic programs. Voluntary Athletic Contributions (VACs) have historically been used for the required league fees, officiating costs, transportation costs, and to purchase new equipment and uniforms. We have been able to “break even” on these costs and sustain our athletic programs thanks to the support we receive from our families in the form of VAC donations.
ESF has and continues to work tirelessly and diligently to fundraise to support district-wide enrichment programs. ESF’s commitment has not changed; however, the level of support from the community has changed. We recently learned that, due to a decline in donations to ESF, the District is unable to support our after-schools programs at the same financial level it has in the past.
Enrichment, including athletics, cost EUSD approximately $711,000. Last year, ESF was able to raise only $285,000. (By comparison, in 2012-2013 donations to ESF were $682,000 which was passed to EUSD for enrichment programs.) With this decrease in funds, Cavitt is now responsible for 50% of the coaching stipends. VAC’s will be used to cover the approximately $20,000 in unbudgeted costs.
In collaboration with EUSD and Olympus Jr. High, some hard decisions to reduce the Athletic Budget had to be made:
– Beginning immediately, to address the funding shortfall, we will no longer be offering Wrestling as an after-school sport.
– Additionally, we will no longer be able to provide transportation to away games – following the example of many surrounding schools where parents take the responsibility to transport their players to the games. We are, however, hoping to provide transportation for two sports: Cross Country and Track. With the high volume of athletes per meet, we understand the traffic and parking limitations that make it difficult to arrive on-time. We may only be able to provide transportation for these two sports this year due to diligent spending and current savings.
We will try to positively address the funding shortfall by: 1) Increasing the requested VAC of $150 and requesting it for every sport a student plays, 2) communicating with player families the importance of VAC donations, 3) actively engaging our parent community to support the Annual Giving Campaign ($365 per family per year) 4) encouraging families to “designate” ESF donations to Sports, 5) continuing to spend thoughtfully and 6) seeking other creative ideas to generate more revenue.
We need the support of the entire Cavitt and Eureka Union School District Community to prevent further cuts and keep our programs intact.
Sean Healy, Olympus
Jennifer Platt, Cavitt