Several people, including the Ogden School Superintendent and Ben Lomond principal asked the BOT to reconsider including those numbers as it would push them into higher classifications for students who do not participate in sports. Many of the schools with large numbers of students in alternative schools also struggle with lower participation numbers, and oftentimes are less competitive.
"Counting the students at the alternative high school is a matter of complexity," said Brad Smith, superintendent of Ogden schools. "They are students at a separate school in every sense of the word. They have their own principal, their own graduation. And frankly, the transfer rules should be in force. To count them seems to be a solution in search of a problem."
While most schools and districts have never included alternative school students, both Logan and Murray do. That's because their alternative school programs are housed in the same facilities as the traditional high school.
"Needing to count them would imply that our transfer rule isn't working," said Seegmiller. "If our transfer rule is working, then we don't need to count them. And if it doesn’t, why not?" Any student transferring from an alternative school to a regular high school has to file hardship paperwork with the UHSAA and be approved to be eligible.
After a public hearing Thursday, an executive session (closed to the public) and about an hour-long discussion, the BOT voted 17-10 to count the alternative school students in population numbers.
New this alignment period is the fact that any school, not just those that are tied or in bubble situation, can petition to go up in just football or all sports. Several schools expressed interest in doing so, but that likely won't be presented until the Nov. 28 hearing.
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