Sunday , 24 September 2017
MISD Athletic Director Shawn Pratt
MISD Athletic Director Shawn Pratt

MISD Athletics Director: Vote is Vital for Future of Sports Programs

TownSquareBuzz.com recently sat down with McKinney ISD Athletic Director Shawn Pratt to discuss the state of athletics, plus what he expects if the tax referendum, which is currently in front of voters, does not pass. The district, which will find itself short nearly $11 million next school year due to cuts from the state, has asked McKinney residents to approve a tax increase from the current $1.54 per $100 of assessed home value to $1.67 per $100. According to the MISD administrators and school board, the TRE is necessary to help balance the district’s 2013-2014 budget and allow MISD to continue to provide a quality education for its students. If the TRE doesn’t pass, then MISD would be forced to make massive cuts to their budget.

Pratt listed the cuts that the Athletic Department made during the 20 percent reduction that was made in 2011-12, including the move to have coaches drive buses to games, the elimination of one assistant athletic director and the instituting a summer workout program for athletes which the athlete must now pay to attend.

“Looking at the budget and what we cut in ’11-’12, I don’t know how many more ways we can cut without kids seeing it and feeling it directly,” Pratt said.

If the TRE does not pass, Pratt said that the district could be looking at a pay-to-play system and asking booster clubs to contribute more funds to athletic programs.

Having kids involved in extracurricular activities is a “recipe for success,” Pratt said. He also said that kids who participate in athletics demonstrate higher test scores overall and are more likely to feel a sense of belonging, experience team work and feel a sense of commitment to the team and to the program, and to their school.

Voting Information

McKinney citizens may vote Monday, September 9 – Friday, September 13, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. 
Monday, September 16, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 17, 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Polling Place Address City
Collin County Election Office
(Main Early Voting Location)
2010 Redbud Blvd., #102 McKinney
CCCC – Central Park Campus 2200 W. University Dr. McKinney
Fire Station #5 6600 W. Virginia Pkwy. McKinney
McKinney Performing Arts Center 111 N. Tennessee McKinney

Election day is Saturday, September 21 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Voters must vote in their assigned precincts.

 The related letter submitted below is written by Millie Abbott, recently retired McKinney ISD teacher:        

Involvement in McKinney ISD Athletics Benefits Student Athletes Academically 

 As the end of August approaches and the community of McKinney prepares for the new school year, students, parents, teachers, coaches, and administrators are “gearing up” not only for the classrooms, but also for the try outs, practices, scrimmages, conditioning, and pre-season of sports. The Fall season is a time of anticipation, promise, and high expectations. According to data reports from the Department of Accountability & Assessment, student-athletes in McKinney ISD are successful in their chosen sports and in the classroom.  The positive influence of their coaches who mentor them and demand academic achievement is an integral part of the program.

Athletics promotes diversity as it is quite pervasive as far as extracurricular activities are concerned.  Almost one out of three high school students participate in athletics, and more than four out of every ten middle school students participate in athletics, according to MISD data. Not only is Athletics able to reach a wide array of students, but those students also benefit academically from Athletics as the standard of excellence is set higher for student athletes.  The following data from the most recent high school TAKS assessment indicates that 2,162 athletes in MISD’s three high schools‒ McKinney Boyd, McKinney High, and McKinney North‒surpassed the percentages of non-athletes in meeting the standards for 2012-2013.

MATH

SCIENCE

SOCIAL STUDIES

Athletes

99%

95%

99%

Non-Athletes

98%

92%

98%

Individual success among high school students demonstrates that MISD student-athletes care about their academic rankings. At the 2012 graduation ceremonies, three of the six valedictorians/salutatorians were athletes.  Many of our athletes in individual and team sports are recognized for their academic All District and All State achievements as evidenced by the following table for 2012-2013.

All District

All State

Boyd

149

31

MHS

129

36

North

164

23

Total

442

90

A brief list of MISD achievements in athletics include the following: 21 programs advanced to Regionals, 13 programs advanced to State, all three high schools had athletes in the State Track Meet, 2 high schools had participants in the State Tennis Tournament, and one of those won State in 4A Tennis Singles. MISD had at least one athlete in each of the following State Meets or Tournaments: Cross Country, Swimming, and Wrestling. McKinney Boyd High School was State Runner Up in Volleyball.  Not to mention many achievements which are not measured in wins and losses.

For those who argue that athletics endangers academic achievement, the NFHS (National Federation of State High School Associations) states that athletics “are not a diversion but rather an extension of a good educational program. Students who participate in an extracurricular activity or athletics program tend to have higher grade-point averages, better attendance records, lower dropout rates and fewer discipline problems than students generally.”  Athletes in MISD maintained a GPA of 2.9 versus the 2.6 average of those who were not involved in sports. Furthermore, researchers Howard T. Everson and Roger E. Millsap, writing for the College Entrance Examination Board in 2005 concluded, ” Participation in extra-curricular activities provides all students‒including students from disadvantaged backgrounds, minorities and those with less-than-distinguished academic achievements in high school‒a measurable and meaningful gain in their college admissions scores.” After high school, these student-athletes from the ages of 18-21 “were more likely than non-participants to be engaged in volunteering, voting, feeling comfortable speaking in public settings, and watching the news.” This was quoted from a 2006 research project from CIRCLE (Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement).

MISD student-athletes are focused, concerned about contributing to their team or individual sport, and committed to excelling academically. They take pride in their schools. Sports bring our community together and promote positive achievement in our schools. MISD Athletics is about to begin a new year, and expectations are high for both academic and athletic achievement. If you get a chance, you should attend a middle school or high school event during the 2013-2014 school year to see our student- athletes in action.

          

For further information about McKinney ISD Athletics,                                                             Contact the Athletic Department at 469-302-4166.

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