Salem-Keizer School District loses appeal of OSAA reclassificati - KPTV - FOX 12

Salem-Keizer School District loses appeal of OSAA reclassification

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SALEM, OR (KPTV) -

Many trips to Central Oregon are in the future for students, coaches, and parents in the Salem-Keizer School District next year after the district's appeal against an OSAA decision was rejected.

The Oregon School Activities Association, OSAA, changed up the conferences and now some Salem schools will be competing with some schools in Bend.

McKay, Sprague, McNary, South and West Salem High Schools will compete against Bend, Mountain View and Summit in Central Oregon. The change affects students involved in sports, band, choir, and other activities.

The Salem-Keizer School District, however, is not to keen on the idea.

The district is concerned about how much time students will be missing class and the safety of crossing the mountain passes in the winter.

“As a parent, I don’t think our voices were heard,” McNary parent Danielle Bethell said.

With the travel time close to two and half hours one-way parents are weighing their options, sports, and activities over school time.

“I have an athlete here at McNary, and as a parent, we are having the conversation as to whether or not his education is more important to us versus his activities,” Bethell said.

“We know kids already juggle a lot and for many kids, this could be the final thing they couldn’t juggle,” Superintendent Christy Perry said.

Perry adds the district’s early estimates when it comes to travel put costs near $700,000 a year.

Every four years OSAA takes a look at school classifications and the conferences they compete in. The association says in these decisions, no single school or district is going to get what they want.

“The committee listened to the schools, they listened to the information coming in and made what they thought was the best recommendation,” OSAA Executive Director Peter Weber said.

Other options during the reclassification process were to lump the Bend schools in with others in Eastern and Southern Oregon.

“The committee and the board ultimately believed that having the Bend schools in with the Salem schools was the shortest trip based on class size,” Weber said.

Parents and staff in Salem say they are frustrated but are going to look at the positives. They say they will be looking at ways to reduce travel through creative scheduling.

“We want our students involved in athletics so we are doing everything we can to minimize our impacts,” Perry said.

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