Students Given More Flexibility to Pursue Extracurriculars at ISB
September 26, 2019
As many know, ISB’s extracurricular program is a center of focus here in the student body, with many students getting involved in the surplus of after school options that are offered here at ISB. With events such as varsity sports, drama, CC and theater, students are absorbed with intense, 5 day a week training. Although this does keep students in great shape, and makes teams much better in preparation for competitions such as IASAS, there are members of these teams that would like to explore different extracurricular activities, particularly MUN and Forensics. With the heavy conflict in schedule, a new policy has been introduced that allows more flexibility for students to participate in potentially more than one extracurricular activity. While this certainly doesn’t appeal to everybody, the implemented rule change certainly will impose it’s benefits as well as concerns.
The Logistics of it all:
The new implemented rule is an opportunity for students to explore new interests, while still playing the sports that they like. As of this year, Mr. Vaughan, the Dean of Students, has set in place a policy that allows students participating in 5 day a week activities to be excused from Monday training sessions in order to pursue another passion, such as MUN or Forensics & Debate. This subject was initially brought up by the 2018-2019 Freshmen Council, who received many complaints from many students who were juggling 5 day commitments along with MUN interest, and while students were occasionally able to maintain these multiple commitments, this new policy obligates coaches to excuse players from Monday practices, without them having to worry about repercussions. Because many students do participate in 5 day a week activities (CC, The Musical, Varsity Sports…), this new rule does give them much more flexibility to explore other fields of interest.
ISB’s extra-curricular program contains multiple 5-day a week activities including 3 Varsity sports each season, The Musical, CC and more. Additionally, coaches spend lots of time making sure that they have selected the best roster with the selection they’re given. Previously, other commitments have been seen as the difference between whether or not some people make a team.
Because this new policy mandates coaches from neglecting other commitments as a factor towards making a roster, they must certainly have an opinion on this policy. Ms. Barnes, the Varsity Girls Volleyball coach, is all for this new rule, explaining that “It allows for students to explore all their interests. It just takes the pressure off kids who want to be a varsity athletes and do another activity.”. Additionally, Ms. Barnes believes that students being involved in multiple extracurricular activities shouldn’t be a deciding factor on their role on their team.
Another person that is heavily impacted by this rule is MUN coach Ms. Weber, who previously had to deal with athletes having to forego MUN for their other commitments. Ms. Weber is “Strongly in favor of this policy” and thinks students should “have an opportunity to explore a number of interests beyond sports and/or the arts. Requiring students to attend sports practice at the exclusion of other activities does not seem congruent with the ISB value of balance.” It clearly seems that these coaches are in favour of this rule, and, like many, see the positive side of what this rule brings. They seemingly understand that High School should be a time for students to explore different passions, and this new policy certainly does allow them to do so.
While this new policy certainly did raise speculation and concern in terms of how flexible coaches would be toward this rule, as well as students being worried on lessening their role on their heavy commitments, this new policy has received fairly positive responses, both from students and coaches. At the end of the day, High School should be a place for students to explore multiple passions, and although it may slightly put a student behind in their heavy committed activities, coaches must understand that it is about the students, who should have the opportunity to chase multiple passions.