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The purpose of this Blog is to pick up where the Atkinson Reporter has left off. "The King is dead, Long live the King!" This Blog is a forum for the discussion of predominantly Atkinson; Officials, People, Ideas, and Events. You may give opinion, fact, or evaluation, but ad hominem personal attacks will not be tolerated, or published. The conversation begun on the Atkinson Reporter MUST be continued!

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Monday, April 11, 2011

Timberlane toughens academic standards for athletes, Get an "F" and your off the team!

From the Eagle Tribune;

April 11, 2011
Timberlane toughens academic standards for athletes

By Cara Hogan The Eagle Tribune Mon Apr 11, 2011, 03:14 AM EDT

PLAISTOW — Get an F and you're off the team.

That's the new rule for athletes at Timberlane Regional High School, and it's one of the strictest policies among Southern New Hampshire high schools.

The Timberlane District School Board unanimously approved a new policy last week to suspend any player who gets an F in one class per quarter. The change is fairly drastic: The old policy allowed three failing grades each quarter from student-athletes.

Timberlane Superintendant Richard La Salle said the board had been considering rewriting the rule for the past year.

"This is a significant change," he said. "It does increase the expectation that a student, to begin a season, should not have earned an F in the previous quarter. We value high standards and we're supporting our students to get there."

La Salle said the school's policy is now much stricter than the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association regulations. The state says high school players cannot fail four classes per grading period, though the rule is just a base guideline for many schools.

Timberlane is one of the only local school districts with zero tolerance for failure. At Salem High School, athletic director David Rozumek said once a student fails two classes, they're off the team.

"There are a few that are a little bit stricter, but we have not done that yet," Rozumek said. "At Salem, we're proactive; we are all about coaches. A vast majority of them have weekly reports on our athletes. We lose very few to bad grades."

Pinkerton Academy athletic director Tim Powers said students must pass at least four classes out of five to play. But the school is considering tightening the requirements at the Derry school.

"The policy is being examined," he said. "The school is thinking of raising the number of classes to pass or a combination of passing and not failing. There are different ideas on the table. It's in the early stages."

Pelham High School athletic director Todd Cress said the school follows a block schedule with only four classes per quarter.

"When report cards come out, they have to be passing three of the four — or 75 percent," he said. "The kids are aware of this and it's really not that big of an issue. For the most part, our athletes do the job in the classroom and get the grades they need to."

Windham High School athletic administrator Bill Raycraft said they follow the NHIAA policy exactly.

"We accept four failures before suspending a student," he said. "That's our minimum standard. If a student had numerous failures, we'd certainly speak to them about whether they had the ability to properly time manage between school and athletics."

He said the school is not thinking of changing the rule.

"Student athletes are already held to a higher standard. They're missing class and homework time, and have to balance that anyway," Raycraft said. "To make it more difficult to stay on seems counterproductive. Athletes generally have higher grades than other students, and to take that away from the borderline students would be detrimental."

Timberlane School Board member William Baldwin was a strong supporter of changing to the zero tolerance policy.

"Now they understand we accept no failures; you either pass and play or fail and don't play," he said. "I don't believe high school is just for sports. I think sports helps to make them well rounded and a part of the experience. Education is the number one priority. And I'll stick behind that as long as I'm on the board."

Other Timberlane board members wanted to be more lenient and open to special circumstances, which did become part of the policy. "If there are extenuating circumstances, there is an appeal committee that (students) can go to," La Salle said.

The Activity Eligibility Committee hears the appeals. If the student can show a valid reason for the failure, the principal can make an exception.

La Salle said there is also a path for students to work to bring up their grades and be allowed back on a team.

"There is some leeway in the policy," he said. "We're going to be monitoring kids while they're in season. If a grade drops to an F before the end of the quarter, they will work with the athletic director to bring those grades up. And during the summer they can remediate a fourth-quarter F."

The new policy also sets standards for class attendance and the number of credits earned each year.


Anonymous said...

Hmmm... you must have attended Timberlane. The headline should read: "...Get an 'F' and YOU'RE off the team!".

That's YOU'RE as in You Are.

Anonymous said...

This is a step in the right direction.

Anonymous said...

Question: Why did Rep. DeSimone vote against HB145? New bill now in the Senate would allow the audio and video recording of a law enforcement officer while in the course of his or her official duties.

I hope this passes.

Anonymous said...

Article Submission:

April 13, 2011

Tembers flare in Atkinson over police details
By Cara Hogan The Eagle Tribune Wed Apr 13, 2011, 12:12 AM EDT

ATKINSON — A shouting match broke out Monday night between Police Chief Philip Consentino and Selectman William Friel over controlling police details for roadwork.

The police and Road Agent Edward Stewart presented a memorandum of understanding at the selectmen's meeting, requiring roadwork on busier roads in town to have a police officer on the scene at all times.

Consentino said he's looking out for the safety of town residents.

"I am going to make sure residents are safe coming up to roadwork," he said.

"Any time a lane is closed, an officer should be there. To have uncertified road workers fill in for professionals is not a good idea."

There is a four-hour minimum for detail work and it will cost $46 per hour for a police officer to cover the duty, at a rate of time and a half.

Friel objected because the memo requires Stewart to run "any and all work" past the police.

"This document, as written, says if he runs out in the street to patch a hole quickly, I've got to pay a cop for four hours?" Friel said. "This document is prohibitive."

Consentino argued the police have control over road safety and should be able to judge the situation.

But Friel insisted the selectmen have the final say and shouted back at Consentino.

"This conversation is over, go rewrite the document and come back," Friel said. "You want to fight that battle, let's go."

Though Stewart is named in the memo, he also objected to the arrangement because of its timing.

"A month after Town Meeting, there's no way to fund it," he said after the meeting. "All my stuff has gone out to bid already, my budget is set and that one thing alone would double the cost of labor for every one of my projects."

Stewart said requiring a police detail would slow down his work and increase the cost exponentially.

"All kinds of little jobs take less than an hour to do on a certain road," he said. "To have a four-hour minimum on a detail, it would cost $160 on a detail to do $20 worth of work."

Selectmen's Chairman William Bennett said after the meeting that it's not really about the money. It's a dispute about who has control over the roads.

"The chief wants to make sure that traffic flows well and no one gets hurt, and the road agent thinks there's a lot of places he can work without that," Bennett said. "But we will resolve this dispute eventually."

Anonymous said...

Go Friel.

Anonymous said...

46 x 4 = 184 for four hours.

Anonymous said...

Why not keep comments about the Chief where they belong, instead of blowing up yet another comment thread on an entirely different topic? I agree that the detail story deserves discussion but save it for what you know will be posted (and since has been posted) on this site.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Friel is NOT a friend of the taxpayer. He is a ruse and don't forget it.

You want your right back, get involved so the Friels of the world are made to go away.

Do it or lose it.