Friday, March 10, 2000
Dialogue on sports vacation policy
A recent change in policy at Concord-Carlisle High School allows students playing varsity sports totravel with their families during vacations without being penalized formissing practices or games. Concord Superintendent Ed Mavragis made thechange this year to address concerns that more isbeing demanded by activities with less time for families.
Under the old policy,students who were out during vacation periods could not play in the nextgame after their return to the team, or were referred to junior varsityteams.
At the regional school committee meeting on February 29, Mavragis said itis not just student sports that scheduling conflicts during vacations.Students who participate in the school musical or band, or those who travelabroad on school-sponsored trips during vacation also face conflicts. Somefall sports require students to return to teams for practice in August,causing conflicts for students away at camp or working at jobs. The policychange was made by the superintendent and not voted upon by the schoolcommittee.
Student varsity athletes Laura Kerr and Carley Preble spoke before theschool committee about the need for team commitment. Preble said studentstake their commitment seriously and put in long hours of practice overvacation. "Allowing students to go on vacation undermines the whole team.Students understand their commitment to the team," she said."The intention of the policy is not to be detrimental to teams," said RSCmember Cindy Nock. "Kids need to make a decision about what they want todo." Kerr said students have the option of playing junior varsity sportsif they want to have less of a commitment.
Parent Elisa Sargent pointed out that, when private schools are in recessfor spring vacation, no games or practices are held because the time isreserved for vacation. "There's value in spending time with family," shesaid.
The superintendent said he believes the school needs to look at the wholepicture. "We have to decide if we want tournaments during Christmas andother vacations." He plans to hold a student forum at the high school on March 16 at 2:30 p.m. to allowCCHS students the opportunity to discuss the vacation policy. "We have tofind new ways to have students involved without their being off the team ifthey're away for a few days," he said.
© 2000 The Carlisle Mosquito