With the impending shift to a grades 6-8 and 9-12 alignment for middle and high schools respectively in the Lake Washington School District coming in 2012, district principals have worked to create changes in the middle school athletics model.
Goals included maintaining a developmentally appropriate program that is equitable among schools, ensures a variety of sports and does not increase student fees.
The resulting program retains some interscholastic sports and adds an intramural component designed to increase overall student participation.
The middle school sports program will include four seven-week interscholastic seasons throughout the year, serving students in grades six through eight.
• Season 1 (Sept. 10-Oct. 26) will offer boys’ and girls’ cross country, boys’ tennis and girls’ volleyball
• Season 2 (Nov. 13-Jan. 18) is for boys’ and girls’ basketball
• Season 3 (Feb. 4-March 29) is for girls’ badminton and boys’/girls’ wrestling
• Season 4 (April 22-June 7) is for boys’ and girls’ track and girls’ tennis
Football, which has been offered only to students in 8th and 9th graders in the past, as well as baseball and softball, which incurs high costs for officials and equipment will no longer be offered at the middle school level.
According to a LWSD press release, “All three sports are supported within our communities at the recreation, select and club levels for students who do want to participate in them.”
The new intramural program will be offered in three sessions of two weeks each, in between the interscholastic seasons. Sports selections are still pending a survey of students’ sports interests, but the tentative schedule includes soccer, floor hockey, flag football and coed ultimate frisbee.
Principals developed this program in consultation with the district athletic director and director of school support. It was presented to the Superintendent and the Superintendent in turn presented it to the district’s Board of Directors. The school board supported the plan after getting a number of questions answered.
Schools that will impact Sammamish students include Inglewood Junior High and Evergreen Junior High.