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School board approves request for 34 Sheyenne coaches

During Monday’s meeting, the West Fargo School Board unanimously approved a co-curricular staffing request for 34 assistant and head coach positions at Sheyenne High School for 2014-2015 school year.

Sheyenne activities director Ross Richards has already applied with the North Dakota High School Activities Association, declaring the school’s intent to field varsity teams for 14 different activities during the fall and winter seasons.

This request provides coaches for a variety of activities, from football, basketball and swimming to speech, debate and student congress.

Co-curricular staffing is based upon the district’s staff/student ratio for each activity grouping, and upon the anticipated student participation levels. As these factors are reviewed for each activity at Sheyenne High School, additional varsity declarations will be submitted for the school’s spring season activities, and requests for additional coaching staff will be presented to the School Board at that time.

Notable fall and winter sports Sheyenne High School does not plan to participate in during the next school year are boys’ and girls’ hockey, boys’ soccer, boys’ tennis and girls’ golf.

Each head coach will be paid the same amount per week, but due to various season lengths (basketball season is two weeks longer than football season, for example), the total wages of each coach varies slightly.

The total projected cost of these 34 new positions is $112,522.

Concerns were raised by a few board members regarding Sheyenne’s swim teams, as fears arose about both schools’ swim teams sharing time at the same pool, while having separate practices and working around open swim times. The board eventually decided to approve the request for swim coaches, but intend to ask for a feasibility study on utilizing pool time for all teams.

In other action, the board unanimously approved a professional staffing request for 3.5 employees.

With the opening of Independence Elementary School in the fall, the district must hire one full-time library media specialist and one full-time counselor to be assigned there. A half-time counselor for the school is already working with fifth graders currently at Liberty Middle School, and will be increased to full-time employment upon transferring to Independence.

Additional counselor staffing is also required at Liberty Middle School and Sheyenne High School to maintain the state-mandated ratio of one counselor to every 300 students.

The total cost of these 3.5 employees is $208,250, taken from the district’s general fund.