Sibley East tables plan for extra-curricular committee

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After hearing concerns about potential violations of statutes and due process, the Sibley East Board of Education, Monday, tabled until next month the possible formation of an extra-curricular activities advisory committee.

The purpose of the committee, as presented by Scott Dose and Anne Karl, would be to improve and enhance the quality of the extra-curricular activities sponsored by the Sibley East Public Schools through honesty, integrity, accountability, and sportsmanship.

Goals of the committee would be to define appropriate channels of communication for students, parents, Sibley East residents, coaches and advisors, evaluate student and parent end-of-the-season evaluations, and develop formal process for coach and advisor evaluations and annual rehiring process.

It was proposed that the committee initially be comprised of three school board members, the Senior High principal, and the athletic director. The three school board members would serve as voting members within the committee. The Senior High Principal and Athletic Director would serve as ex-officio members and advisors to the committee. The committee will evaluate the addition of Sibley East residents to serve on the committee.

Dose said that he has received one to two complaints per week. The people that have contacted him “don’t feel comfortable going to the coach.” They feel that their son/daughter would be targeted by the coach, he said.

Dose said that the committee would like to gather information from the students and the coaches and discuss that information with the coaches.

Karl said she sees this proposal “to enhance the process in place with the coach’s handbook.”

The proposed evaluation form, that would be used by the parents and students, is used by Academy of Holy Angels in Richfield and is available on the school’s Web site.

Randy Walsh, Sibley East athletic director, said that he feels that it is his job to investigate concerns/complaints and that they should be forwarded to him.

Board member Jodi Hanson agreed, saying that Walsh should be contacted by the board member who receives complaints and the concerns should be shared.

Sandra Anderson, a representative from Education Minnesota who attended the board meeting, said that coaches and assistants are governed by due process. According to Anderson the proposal “violates all statutes and due process” if it is used for the rehiring process.

Board chairman Brian Asmus said that he encourages parents to contact the coach/advisor if there is a concern.

Chip Wolverton, Sibley East’s head volleyball coach, said at the sports eligibility meeting, he encourages the parents and students to bring concerns to him. He also has made evaluation forms that are used.

Superintendent John Langenbrunner said that the proposal is “a good concept if we can formulate a committee to meet your outcome.” Langenbrunner suggested including a coach and parents on the committee.

Langenbrunner said that it is important to have a “good legal interpretation” of the proposal. “We have a good relationship with the staff. We must be careful what steps we take.”

School District Attorney Tony Nerud will review the proposal prior to the next school board meeting.

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