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IHSA Board Announces Initial Strategic Planning Goals

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The IHSA Board of Directors met for their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, August 26, 2019, where the Board revealed the goals of its recent Strategic Planning Session.

Held on May 2-3, 2019, the Strategic Planning sessions featured IHSA staff members, the IHSA Board of Directors, CPS athletic administration personnel, and several principals, athletic directors, and coaches from high schools throughout the state.

“It was an impactful experience to say the least,” said Dunlap Principal and IHSA Board Treasurer Scott Adreon. “It was a diverse group of people, which created great conversation and ideas. All these individuals have a passion for helping the youth in our state develop through extracurricular participation, and we needed to begin to shape what the next five, 10, 15 years and beyond will look like for the IHSA.”

The group met for two days in May under the guidance of LeRoy Superintendent Gary Tipsord, who led the group through the Strategic Planning Session.

“We appreciate the time and participation of everyone who was involved in this process,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. “They gave us a lot to think about, both micro and macro, while helping us narrow our staff’s initial focus on three main goals.”

Throughout the course of their discussions and idea sharing, the group voted on three initial main goals for the Association:
1) Take steps to establish the long-term financial stability of the Association.
2) Advance communication efforts with IHSA schools through various mediums to build a stronger community amongst member schools.
3) Add resources, develop awareness and identify areas of mental health for IHSA member school personnel, including coaches, athletes, and families.

“Our staff is eager to get to work on these initiatives,” said Anderson. “We believe our Board of Directors took a first step by addressing State Series ticket pricing in August. The financial goal is relative to being able to provide relief to our schools as costs to run events continue to rise, while also making sure the IHSA is positioned to adapt to new and emerging opportunities and challenges in the future.”

The IHSA has targeted July of 2020 to have quantitative results on all three of the initial strategic planning goals.

“The other two goals are born out of the changing culture within high schools,” said Rockridge High School Principal and Board member Katy Hasson. “Technology has made our world smaller, but we believe the IHSA can do more to unite our schools in our common goals to use athletics and activities as an extension of the classroom. In that same vein, mental, social, and emotional health are a growing issue in our hallways. We believe the IHSA can play a role in helping bridge that gap.”


ACTION ITEMS
1. The Board voted to approve a recommendation to increase IHSA State Series ticket prices in 25 IHSA sports. Ticket price changes range from $1 dollar to $2 dollars. Vehicle entry fees at the IHSA Cross Country State Finals increased by $5 dollars. To see IHSA ticket pricing by event and level, click here.
IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson:
“One of the hallmark tenets of the IHSA is maintaining affordable ticket pricing for the fans and communities who support their teams. The IHSA has not instituted any ticket price changes at the Sectional and State Final levels in over a decade, and believe these modest increases are especially reasonable when placed against other current athletic and entertainment options. These increases will provide the IHSA with the flexibility to help host schools with rising costs, as well as to raise pay for officials. Participation in and the number of sports and activities offered by the IHSA continues to grow, so we expect these changes to help secure the long-term viability for the Association to grow and adapt to our member school needs.”

2. The Board approved a recommendation to move the IHSA Bass Fishing Sectionals and State Final dates in 2020. Both are moved forward one week. Sectionals will now be held on April 30 and the state finals on May 15 and 16.
IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson:
“This is a one-year change for the purposes of moving the State Finals off of Memorial Day weekend. After speaking with personnel at Carlyle Lake and the Army Corp of Engineers, we agreed that the heavy lake traffic anticipated over the holiday weekend would create difficult fishing and unnecessary hazards for our participants.”

3. The Board approved an annual waiver of IHSA By-laws 3.021 and 3.022 for Berwyn-Cicero (Morton). IHSA rules allow schools who only offer 25 credit hours (five classes) per semester, the ability to apply for a waiver.

4. The Board approved a recommendation to modify the Variances section in Board Policy 17. The changes eliminate the opportunity for schools to apply for a variance in enrollment for classification purposes for international students enrolled at a member school and an enrollment decrease from the previous school year.

5. The Board approved a recommendation for a Program for International Students at Chicago Heights (Marian Catholic).

6. The Board approved a recommendation to approve the IHSA’s document retention policies for 2019-20.

7. The Board approved a recommendation to approve the IHSA’s personnel policies for 2019-20.


APPEALS & ELIGIBILITY RULINGS
1. The Board sustained the Executive Director’s ruling on a student from Normal (Community). The student was ruled ineligible for non-compliance with IHSA By-law 3.030 and its sub-sections.

2. The Board overturned the Executive Director’s ruling on a student from Dunlap. The student was ruled ineligible for non-compliance with IHSA By-law 3.030 and its sub-sections.

3. The Board overturned the Executive Director’s ruling on a student from Alton (Marquette). The student was ruled ineligible for non-compliance with IHSA By-law 3.040 and its sub-sections.

4. The Board tabled the Executive Director’s ruling on a student from Alton (Marquette). The student was ruled ineligible for non-compliance with IHSA By-law 3.040 and its sub-sections.

5. The Board sustained the Executive Director’s ruling on a student from Aurora (Marmion). The student was ruled ineligible for non-compliance with IHSA By-law 3.040 and its sub-sections.

6. The Board did not act on an appeal from Winnetka (North Shore Country Day) for a change in its classification.

7. The Board did not act on an appeal from Lake Forest (H.S.) for a change in its classification.


DISCUSSION ITEMS
At each meeting of the Board of Directors, there are certain items the Board discusses, but upon which no action is taken. The following is a report of those items from the August 26, 2019, agenda:

1. The Board heard a report from Assistant Executive Director Sam Knox on the 2019 IHSA Officials Conference, which was attended by over 700 officials in East Peoria on July 19-20.

2. The Board heard a report from Director of Special Programs Raye McDonald on the 2019 IHSA All-School Mailing.

3. The Board heard a report on the 2019 National Association of Sports Officials (NASO) Summit.

4. The Board heard a report on a national football summit held in Alabama in July, which included 12 state association executive directors.

5. The Board heard a report on the 2019 National Debate Topic Selection meeting in Oak Brook.

6. The Board heard a report from the staff on its staff retreat discussion.

7. Nominations are currently open until September 15 for open Legislative Commission and Board of Directors positions. The following positions are currently up for election:
-Board Division 1
-Board Division 3
-Board At-Large Underrepresented Gender
-Commission District 2
-Commission District 8
-Commission District 11
-Commission District 12
-Commission District 13
-Commission District 14
-Commission District 15
-Commission District 20
-Commission Athletic Administrator Division 1
-Commission Athletic Administrator Division 4
-Commission Athletic Administrator Division 7
-Commission At-Large Minority or Underrepresented Gender Division 2
-Commission At-Large Minority or Underrepresented Gender Division 5
-Commission At-Large Minority or Underrepresented Gender Division 6

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