During Monday’s Board of Education meeting, Dexter HSAthletic Director Mike Bavineau updated the board on the work being done by the Ad Hoc Athletic Committee, which has met nearly 20 times to discuss the structure and financial sustainability of the Athletics Department. Key items under discussion fall into three categories: coaches, the evaluation of programs and finances.
Under the coaches heading, Bavineau shared that in his 27 years at Dexter, the athletic staff has never met as a full department. He is planning a retreat for all athletic staff to get to know one another and work together to create a vision for the Athletic Department. The committee will also create a brand-new coaches handbook based on that vision, which will include clear expectations for coaches. This handbook will most likely be implemented in the winter, to allow time for meaningful and thoughtful creation.
In terms of program evaluation, once the vision for the Athletic Department is in place, Bavineau plans to enlist the help of coaches, students and parents to create goals for the programs. The AD will then meet with coaches at the beginning, middle and end of the year to ensure these goals are being met.
When discussing finances, the committee focused on two areas: pay to participate and the procedure to change the status of sports teams from self-funded to fully-funded. Bavineau shared that some Dexter sports teams are currently self-funded, and the department is creating a clear application and approval procedure for these teams to apply for funding from the school if desired.
DCS Athletics operates on a tiered pay to participate system, with high school families paying $250 for the 1st sport, $150 for the 2nd sport and $100 for the 3rd sport, per student, per year with a $700 family cap. The committee is in favor of changing the fee to $250 per sport at the high school level, with the family cap still under discussion
Board president Michael Wendorf thanked Bavineau and Dexter High School principal Kit Moran for their many hours of work with this committee and stated that the board will need to approve pay to participate changes and the updated procedure to change the status of sports teams. The athletics discussion will continue in the Finance Committee, which met on Tuesday, May 21.
During a comment portion after the presentation, board member Dr. Julie Schumaker shared that at one time she had figured out the per hour cost of athletics at DCS, and it came out to around $1-2 per hour based on the current pay to participate fee structure (taking into consideration practice time, travel, game time, conditioning, etc.). “You can’t go somewhere else and get a better deal – we provide great value for the money,” she continued.