They say if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, and Bainbridge Island School District officials recently decided their affiliation with the Metro League was in need of no repairs.
For now at least.
Associate Superintendence Erin Murphy, in a recent memo to Superintendent Peter Bang-Knudsen, said that after considerable research and input from student and coach focus groups, the Spartans would remain in the Metro League.
“While there are differences in perspectives between and among members of each stakeholder group,” Murphy wrote, “due to strong feedback from a variety of stakeholders and the limited timeline for consideration of any change of league, the analysis supports out continued affiliation with the Metro League for the coming school year.”
School officials recently said they would conduct an extensive exploration of options for alternative league affiliation.
Potential factors in the decision to change the school’s current athletic categorization included instructional time concerns, travel requirements and the general level of competition, according to school officials.
The idea to switch leagues has come up before, but proved unpopular with many Spartan athletes and their parents, while BHS coaches were split on the proposal to move to the Olympic League.
The school board ultimately decided in December 2013 to remain in the Metro League.
And now it seems the song remains the same, though Murphy did note officials were keeping their options open.
“As we look forward,” she wrote, “I would suggest that the board support additional exploration and analysis of [instructional time, travel requirements, and level of competition] in relation to future league affiliation, and that a presentation of the findings occur no later than the end of November 2020.”
School district officials sought input from a variety of sources in the course of the recent investigation, including asking students, coaches, parents, and community members to weigh in with their reasons for and against a possible departure from the Metro League via an online survey.
In the memo, Murphy reported nearly 500 people completed the survey, and 27 students and 22 coaches attended focus group meetings about the subject.
Recently, the Review reached out to several BHS coaches for direct comment on the issue and found them nearly universal in their desire to remain in Metro.