Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Local News

May 13, 2014

Altamont schools 'see no positive' in Beecher City co-op

ALTAMONT — With numbers still strong in the district's sports, Altamont school administrators recommended Monday not co-oping sports with Beecher City School District.

"I see no positive that we could have if we co-op with them," said Altamont Athletic Director Todd Arnold. "It just doesn't benefit us."

Altamont Superintendent Jeff Fritchtnitch said Beecher City Superintendent Scott Cameron had sent an email referring to a possible cooperative agreement to combine all of Beecher City and Altamont's sports teams.

Fritchtnitch said with many of Altamont's sports still having high participation numbers, a co-op agreement would have little incentive for the district.

"We don't need the athletes," he said. "We already have the athletes. The program's really solid here. It's alive and well in Altamont."

Adding players from Beecher City to Altamont's teams would not change the school's 1A class standing in most sports, while Altamont played this season as a 2A school in volleyball. Altamont also did co-op with Beecher City in soccer this fall. Still, board members said a co-op agreement may be advantageous if financial incentives were on the table.

"One of the things I could see doing is if it was cheaper to do co-op, we could pursue that," said Board Member Randy Tillman. "That would be the only thing that would help."

Fritchtnitch said the initial agreements presented to him from Cameron were "generic" and said many districts that have co-oped athletics face some unexpected charges. He recommended further discussions on the subject should not be considered at this time.

"Right now, it doesn't seem like we need to go that direction," he said.

The board also discussed updates to technology for next year. While laptops are used by students throughout the district, switching to a Chromebook has been discussed. The new technology would require further training by teachers, but Fritchtnitch said after educators had spent several years working with laptops, now may be the time to upgrade and retrain employees.

"It could be a good transition time," he said, "They've been using the laptops for three years and they're getting comfortable. It would be a good time for some professional development."

The board did not take any action on the proposed purchase.

Jackson Adams can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 131, or at jackson.adams@effinghamdailynews.com or via Twitter @EDNJAdams.

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