District’s Long-Range Planning Committee to meet to discuss future of extra-curricular offerings in a climate of declining enrollment

    The Crookston School District’s Long-Range Planning Committee will meet on Monday, May 13 to discuss the future of extra-curricular activities in the district, Superintendent Jeremy Olson announced at Monday’s school board meeting.

    “Something’s gotta give,” Board Chair Frank Fee said when discussing the reason for the meeting. “Do we have too many sports for our declining enrollment? Everyone agrees we probably do, but when it comes down to what’s got to go, that’s when everyone walks out of the room.”

    The district is basing its 2019-20 school year budget off a student enrollment projection of 1,090, which continues a downward trend that’s been apparent over the past few years. For comparison purposes, the Crookston Public Schools enrollment is about half of student enrollment in the East Grand Forks School District.

    Pirate sports teams, for instance, offer boys’ and girls’ soccer in the fall, but they often compete against districts in football and volleyball that don’t offer soccer. In the winter, basketball and hockey are offered for boys and girls in Crookston, but they often compete in basketball against districts that don’t offer hockey. While that’s just a little snapshot of the situation, like Fee noted, it’s becoming a more widely held belief that Pirate sports rosters are becoming even more spread thin, mostly due to the continued pattern of declining enrollment.

    In the fall, Pirates sports offerings include football, boys’ and girls’ soccer, volleyball, girls’ tennis and girls’ swimming. In the winter, sports offerings include boys’ and girls’ hockey, boys’ and girls’ basketball, wrestling, and dance. In the spring, sports offerings include baseball, softball, boys’ tennis, track and field, boys’ and girls’ golf, and trapshooting.

    There’s no specific starting time for the May 13 meeting. It will immediately follow a special school board meeting at CHS scheduled for 5 p.m.