The Why And The How Of Student Athletics As An Academic Intervention
Stephen Minix (@Minix_Stephen), the UpMetrics (@upmetricsapp) Executive Director & Green Dot Schools Alum, serves on the PCA-Los Angeles Leadership Council, and in less than 2 years has helped to grow a once small startup into a formidable activity management platform responsible for professionalizing the practice of administering after school, athletic and community-based recreation programs with over 500 school and community-based organizations across the globe.
Here, Stephen writes on Student-Athletics as a key intervention to be leveraged inside the classroom:
While athletics may often be viewed as only relevant when citing the final score of the game in the newspaper, or as a point of contention in annual budget allocations, athletics can — and should — play a key role in student development inside the classroom. When looking at the academic performance of student-athletes, it becomes very difficult to overlook the relationship with increased academic performance, school-day attendance, and graduation rates.
Student-athlete eligibility is a year-round issue. If you’re waiting until the start of the season to address it you’re too late. You must consistently focus on academic interventions as much as you focus on 2–2–1 traps or press-breakers.
At minimum set the expectation that your athletes must check-in with the coaching staff on the academics during the offseason. Or, a more robust option is to consider allocating equivalent of one varsity athletic stipend for a teacher to host office hours and academic support to athletes each season of sport.
Set the tone — Day One, depending on your sport, consider putting student desks on the court (safely, of course), or in the field: Student-athletes must understand the importance of academic health as related to being a student-athlete.
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