CCS Basketball Program in jeopardy

Here is an email I received from Mike Valotto regarding potential upsetting changes to the school’s basketball program – please contact Mike or the School Board with your concerns – as always our form of government requires participation if we want to enact change – please come to the upcoming meetings ( http://chichestertaxpayers.com/?p=480 ) and voice your opinion.

Jason

Hi All,

I'm writing to inform you of a proposal our current athletic director is putting forward in the upcoming teachers’ contract regarding the CCS basketball program.  

The proposal would eliminate the boys and girls 5th / 6th grade teams.  The 5th graders would not have a school team to play on and the 6th graders would be combined with the 7/8th grade team.  It would still be a no cut program.

The program is wrapped up in the teachers’ contract due to coaching stipends.  The argument for cutting the 5/6 team is of course money.  More money is spent on basketball then soccer.  This is an apples and oranges comparison.  More children are involved in the basketball program and the basketball season is almost twice as long as the soccer season.  

Another argument is that with the numbers coming up the 5/6 team may not be needed.  If that happened to be the case for a particular year or 2 that should be addressed for that year.

Was anyone involved with the basketball program - coach or parent - consulted? No  If it is a money issue are there other options?   What are they? This seems to be one person making a decision that effects many without any consideration to the impact of the decision.  

Over the last 6+ years the program has seen great improvement and growth.  The interest and participation in basketball has increased over the last few years to the point that we have had to expand to the Merrimack League to insure that the kids get opportunity and playing time.  In addition in the last 3 years 18 Chichester students went on to play high school basketball.  This season 2 of our Freshmen girls are on the PA varsity team.

The 5th/6th grade team serves a purpose in introducing the young player to game play, skill development etc. that is on level with their physical and emotional development.  Playing on a team that suits the child's development allows them to develop confidence, teamwork, trust etc.  

Putting 6th graders with the 7/8th graders on the basketball court is not in the best interest of most of those players. Have you walked through the halls of CCS and seen the physical differences between 6th & 8th grade kids?  

Some of you have experienced in the last few years teams with 15 + kids and one coach.  It's not a good experience for anyone.  Practice is chaotic and not very productive.  On game days there are only 5 players on the floor at a time and only  28 - 32 minutes in a game.  Many didn't see much if any game play.  This will be the situation going forward.

In my personal experience, had it not been for the 5th/6th grade team my freshman daughter would not be playing high school ball.

The school board meeting is tomorrow Thursday January 15 at 5:30 pm.

Please either come and state your opinion or email me your thoughts and they will be presented.  

Please forward to others that may be interested.

Thanks for your time.
Mike Valotto
michael@keydatait.com