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Mon, June 17

With a lot of student interest ...<BR>Prescott High School looks to swim into 4A pool

PRESCOTT – Prescott High School may soon have an interscholastic swim team within the 4A Conference.

Prescott Unified School District Governing Board members discussed the possibility during their study session Tuesday night.

Principal Tim Carter said there's sufficient interest and external financial support to warrant boys' and girls' swim teams. If the board gives the green light at next Tuesday's voting session, competition could begin in the fall of 2001.

Among documents Carter presented in support of his request is a letter to athletic director Wayne Howell from local businessman Lou Silverstein, of KYCA radio, donating $10,000 to establish the program.

Carter presented the proposal to begin the program in response to requests from the community and the high school administration. The school's site council, Student Advisory Committee, department chairs and the Prescott High School PTSA support it.

"I think at this point that the YMCA is a willing partner in allowing us to use their facility," he said. "Heather Thomas, one of our seniors who's a competitive swimmer, has done quite a bit of work with students and there's (a lot of) interest. There's no doubt in our mind that we'll have a sufficient number of students to take part in the program."

Carter also maintained that there are several coaches in the community who would be interested in heading it up. Budget for the first two years would be about $8,800. As in other extracurricular sports at the school, students would pay a $98 fee to participate.

Board member Gordon Maddux, Prescott YMCA's director of fund development, said the Y "is unequivocally in favor of this and enthusiastically hopes that it is approved." Also, several other board members advocated the team.

Carter hopes that 22 students will sign up in the first year. "If we have sufficient numbers for a JV team and a varsity team, that would be our preference," he said. "Our plan at this point is to ask the 4A conference to create a JV and a varsity schedule."

Sexuality curriculum update

In other discussion, the board considered updating the sexuality education curriculum for the seventh and 11th grades, as well as grades five through 12.

One change would replace the "Human Growth IV" video with a newer version. Mary Ann Kapp, who presented the proposal to the board, maintained that would do away with the 1960s clothing, which distracts students.

The change for the 11th grade, abstinence-based, pregnancy prevention program would let students price baby products instead of condoms, spermicide and other items for a "Personally Shopping Home-work" assignment. That exercise illustrates the financial cost of being sexually active, said instructor Mary-lin Bunger. The district requires parental permission for the five-class program, she added.

The revision for grades five through 12 would add written guidelines for handling student questions. "These guidelines will help ensure the consistency of instruction and avoid potential problems concerning the appropriateness of questions asked and answers given in class," a staff report indicated.

The Health Education Advisory Committee, comprising parents, clergy and other community members, recommends the revisions now before the board.

Other items

On other matters, the board postponed selecting delegates to the Arizona School Board Association membership meeting next month.

It also discussed approving sealed requests for proposals for school, office supplies and equipment locally; and considered attorney David Palmer's offer to lease 1,080 square feet on the second floor of the district office building for $500 a month.


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