The Board of Education, during a special meeting Monday night, denied a request to start a 4th & 5th grade basketball program for boys and girls at Northside Elementary and DeKalb West School this fall.
The board voted 6 to 1 against the proposal this year because funding for coaching supplements for such a program is not in this year's school budget. The board is expected to revisit the issue next year before the new budget is adopted. All voted no except for Sixth District Board member Bruce Parsley.
Principal Gayle Redmon says other school systems have an elementary basketball program and it would be good for the students and for school spirit. "We are proposing to start a basketball program for 4th and 5th grade students at Northside Elementary School. We've had quite a bit of parent interest in this particular program. We've talked with Mr. Willoughby for several months about the possibility of getting this program started. We've looked at costs. We don't want a real complicated program. We just want a simple program with a few games and maybe playing in tournaments. We've talked with coaches and schools in Putnam County, White County, and Warren County and all of those programs have elementary school basketball programs. We think it would be a good way for our students to learn basketball skills and learn to compete and learn to be good sports as well as promoting school spirit."
Redmon says there probably would have been no more than eight regular season games, four at home and four on the road, plus maybe some tournament games. No bus transportation would have been required since parents would transport the players on the road trips.
The initial request was made for Northside Elementary School, but had the school system given permission, DeKalb West School would have had the same opportunity to start a 4th & 5th grade basketball program there.