HOUGHTON — Several local schools are entering into a cooperative agreement for their ski and swim teams.
At its meeting Monday, the Houghton-Portage Township School Board approved a two-year agreement with Hancock, Jeffers, Lake Linden, Chassell and Dollar Bay.
Most of those schools already participate in co-ops in a hodgepodge of configurations, athletic director John Sanregret said.
“Of course, the argument is always, ‘if we don’t allow them to compete, maybe they’ll be the school of choice here.’ he said. “But on the other hand, you can take the approach that once they come here, and see what a great school we have here as an athlete, maybe they want to come here anyway. way, just to experience their full education here.”
The decision must be approved by all superintendents, principals and athletic directors of participating schools. The coaches had also supported the move, Sanregret said.
The school’s athletic divisions – Division I in swimming and Division II in skiing – will remain unchanged.
There has been a decrease in the number of ski programs in UP, Sanregret said. From 13 or 14 schools offering ski programs when Sanregret was a student, the number has dropped to four – Marquette, Norway Ironwood and Houghton. In swimming, Houghton is one of nine schools that compete in the UP division alone.
Although this year’s swim team had strong numbers, nearly half the team was made up of high school students, Sanregret said. Seniors also made up nine of the 14 ski team members.
“I think for us next year we could use more kids in both sports,” said Sanregret.
In another athletic development, the Michigan High School Athletic Association has endorsed the wheelchair athletics category. Para-athletes will be able to compete in regionals and UP finals in the shot put and the 100, 200 and 400 meter races. Maria Velat, a senior at Houghton High School, has been instrumental in promoting change.
“The way the state passed it isn’t exactly what she wanted, but it’s a good start,” said Sanregret. “It’s a great achievement for her and for our school.
Sanregret said Houghton is likely to continue playing in the Copper Bowl with Hancock midway through the season. The reduced number of schools in UP with 11-a-side football has made scheduling more difficult, he said. For the Copper Bowl to finish the season, Houghton couldn’t play a full program, he said.
“We have to do with what we have” he said. “I’m just grateful that we have a nine-game schedule.”
In other actions, the council:
– Heard by elementary school principal Cole Klein that students had logged just under 500,000 minutes of reading in March. Klein kept his promise to the students and shaved off his beard (which he has since pushed back). Students in grades three through five will also come to high school to see an early performance of the high school weekend play, “The Wizard of Oz.” The high school band will also perform for fourth and fifth graders on Friday.
– Heard by Superintendent Anders Hill, the school’s FIRST Robotics team participated in the world championship in Houston, which was held last weekend. The district also hosted a focus group with parents, teachers, administrators and board members on how to spend the district’s COVID-19 relief funds. The main areas of interest were outdoor learning spaces and mental health supports, especially in elementary schools.
— Heard by high school principal Tiffany Scullion, the Business Professionals of America team will travel to the Nationals in Texas May 4-8.
— Approved a contract with UP Janitorial.
— Approved the purchase of a new series of elementary reading material. This is an update from the same series editor the district has been using since 2011, which no longer has online support.
— Entered into executive session for negotiations. No action was taken when the meeting resumed.