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School sports program doing well at Swedeborg, superintendent says
SWEDEBORG, Mo. (May 11, 2010) — While the financial picture in the Swedeborg R-III School District has been a serious struggle, Superintendent Joe Dunlop said the school’s sports program has been a success.

“Our main extracurricular activities this year were our basketball season which went rather well and our sports dinner,” Dunlap said. “Our cheerleaders were at every game, they were very active in providing a lot of spirit and morale for our team.”

Board member Wayne King asked whether the basketball program can continue for the 2010-2011 school year.

“It’s the Ozarks; we have to have basketball … I believe it’s a federal statute, I’m not sure,” Dunlap replied, leading to laughs from board members.

“Yes, we’re planning on basketball next year,” Dunlap said. “(We) haven’t set a season yet but that’s something we’re going to try to look at. There again, with volunteer coaching staff, basically all it costs us is transportation, which is negligible.”

King said he was glad to hear that.

“A lot of kids enjoyed it this year and the way the kids participated in it, there wasn’t none of this not showing up; they were here,” King said. “I think it helped pull these kids here in school together.”

Dunlap agreed, but said he’d like to have a broader program of extracurricular activities than just sports.

“Absolutely you have to have a focal point,” Dunlap said. “I’d like to see us bring quiz bowl in, personally, and balance out the sports with the academic extracurricular because I know the two go together really well. Richland and Crocker had results with these two programs balancing each other, so I’d like to see if we could do that, possibly.”

Board member Chris Black asked whether the Swedeborg district had a spelling bee as in previous years. Dunlap said six students participated in a spelling bee which “seemed to be a positive activity.”

Other programs outside the classroom included numerous field trips, Dunlap said.

“We’ve had, of course, a fairly good and successful series of field trips this year starting with our trip to St. Louis for the St. Louis Art Museum and the Missouri Ballet. We also had our trip to Branson which was very successful. Our rock climbing trip for MAP testing rewards went well,” Dunlap said.

One more field trip, the eighth grade graduation trip, is still coming. Since Swedeborg doesn’t have a high school, its eighth grade students have a graduation trip that’s similar but smaller than what other area districts do at the high school level.

Dunlap noted that as with the athletic program, the field trips aren’t causing financial issues for Swedeborg.

“All of our field trips this year, all of our extra-curricular activities were either volunteer or were supported by fundraisers or PTO support or community support … we actually didn’t have any certified expenditures for field trips whatsoever,” Dunlap said. “They’ve been quality, too. We haven’t had anything with just running over to the park or anything like that; they’ve had educational value and they’ve had good participation. I think our kids have learned a lot about preparing and earning and organizing trips and that gives more value to participation that way.”

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