Shenandoah School Board passes Athletic Classification Resolution

The Shenandoah Community School Board unanimously approved a school classification equity resolution during its regular meeting, Monday, Jan. 13. 

Shenandoah Activities Director Aaron Burdorf made a presentation to the board on the subject that was initially presented last summer by Des Moines Public Schools regarding how schools should be classified for athletic competitions.

Currently, the Iowa High School Athletic Association and Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union classify schools based solely on their enrollment number for grades 9 through 11.

Des Moines Public Schools presented data showing that over the last 10 years, DMPS high schools have played the seven Des Moines suburban schools 92 times in football and haven’t won once, losing by an average game score of 51-10.

The resolution from DMPS calls on the IHSAA and IGHSAU to put a committee together to resolve this issue during the 2019-20 school year.

A few other questions being looked at within the resolution are: should public schools play private schools with similar enrollments and should poverty level be looked at in a district, which can be measured to some degree by free and reduced lunch numbers?

“The point is to try to create a more competitive atmosphere for all kids,” Burdorf said during the presentation.

Burdorf said work has begun at the state level and some information on the topic will be presented at the state Athletic Directors conference in March.

“The goal is just to get the boys association and the girls union to sit down and think about it,” said Burdorf. “Is it just easy for us to just use the Beds number and say that’s who you’re going to play in the postseason, or is there some way to talk about other issues that might create some equity across the board for teams.”

The Shenandoah board supports the idea and unanimously passed a resolution Monday recommending the two state associations “resolve this issue.”

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