Making the Case for Athletics

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August 22, 2012 For over a year, Natomas Pacific Pathways (NP3) Charter High School in Sacramento has gone before the Natomas Unified School District Board of Education to ask them to reinstate an agreement which allowed their school's athletes to compete as members of local traditional high school sports teams. In June of 2011, the NUSD Board voted to end this agreement at the conclusion of the 2011-12 school year.

Most recently, current and former students, parents, teachers and Natomas community members mobilized to speak during public comment at the August 21 NUSD Board meeting to ask the Board to reconsider this decision. The hearing room was not set up to accommodate the number of representatives from NP3, forcing those wished to speak to wait in the hall outside the board room. One student, an NP3 sophomore loaded with track and field medals, waited with her father who testified before the Board. She had competed as a member of Inderkum High School's track and field team and was hoping to attend college on an athletics scholarship. Another student planned to tell the board about the importance athletics played in her life. More than just physical fitness, athletics has given her the chance to develop her perseverance and team work skills. Without athletics, some current and future NP3 families are looking for other options. School leaders said several families had chosen schools outside of the district in order to find a school that offers a high quality academic program and sports, though many families have not given up and are continuing to ask the Board to change their decision.

How does your school handle athletics? Here's one perspective on the value of high school athletics and its connection to student achievement: