While their students compete on fields, courts and tracks, the athletic directors (AD) at Anoka-Hennepin School District’s high schools (Anoka, Andover, Blaine, Champlin Park and Coon Rapids) have been working together on a program review to ensure students are receiving the best experience possible.
In October 2011, the ADs began working together toward a quality program award from the National Interscholastic Athletic Administration Association (NIAAA).
Anoka-Hennepin is the first school district in Minnesota to complete an application. The ADs provided an update of the process at the May 7 District 11 School Board work session.
The comprehensive review is similar to an accreditation.
Through the process, NIAAA will assess 10 categories including program access and equity, educational compatibility and technology.
There is a total of 4,685 possible points; 3,790 are necessary for a program to be recognized as exemplary.
Kelley Scott, AD at Coon Rapids High School, said only one school has achieved exemplary status, and that’s what Anoka-Hennepin is aiming for.
While the ADs await assessment of their application, they have a number of initial outcomes, including:
• Centralizing information on the district website, no matter what school a student attends, forms, program philosophy and Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) information should be accessible on the district website.
• Being clear and consistent with athletic programs at Anoka-Hennepin high schools.
• Making communication between ADs more formal.
• Creating better distinction between activities budgets and building supply budgets.
The ADs will also begin a high school athletic program student survey.
School board members saw an example of the 29-question survey that asks about coaches’ performance, captains’ performance and if it was an enjoyable experience.
During the briefing, the ADs reviewed changes taking place in the next school year.
Per the MSHSL, all athletic coaches must be certified, take concussion training and attend sports-specific rules interpretation meetings.
In addition, all athletic coaches must complete the district’s coaches’ training module.
This online training covers numerous issues, including the district’s anti-bullying and anti-harassment policy.
John Baufield, Anoka High School’s AD who is retiring at the end of the school year, said this is the most comprehensive study he’s seen in 37 years.
“A study like this is examining what we are doing from top to bottom,” Baufield said.
“It’s a unique experience that will better help us to serve our students.
“I’m proud of the work my colleagues have done on this and it should make our school district better.”
School board members were provided all the documentation of the assessment to date.
Jeff McGonigal, the associate superintendent of high schools, told board members this is a continuous improvement process and encouraged members to provide input.