Monday, July 29, 2002

Lakota has vision for athletics


District's enrollment approaching 16,000

By Sue Kiesewetter
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        WEST CHESTER TWP. - When classes in the Lakota Schools resume in September, Ohio's eighth largest school district will have an enrollment approaching 16,000 students, making it the state's second-largest suburban district and second only to Cincinnati Public Schools in Greater Cincinnati.

        And educators will be just weeks away from unveiling Lakota's first strategic plan for athletics as the community and board grapple with the district's second five-year plan that encompasses all areas of district operations.

        Those were just a few things Superintendent Kathleen Klink had to share with reporters during an hour-long conversation last week in the Enquirer's West Chester bureau.

        “We're looking (at growth) in the 400-500 (student) range,” Mrs. Klink said. “I think the economy (will have) a lot to do with where we may end up.”

        With subdivisions going up across the district, it is hard for school officials to pinpoint exact numbers until school begins and all the withdrawal requests have been processed, Mrs. Klink said. Traditionally, the greatest influx of students comes in August when newcomers begin registering their children.

        Enrollment in this growing Butler County district was 15,476 last fall when Ohio took its official count of students. The district is expected to hit the 16,000-student mark sometime during the upcoming school year.

        Lakota is finishing work on its second five-year strategic plan to guide educators. New, though, will be a plan encompassing athletics to provide consistency among junior, freshman and senior high schools' programs. Ultimately, Mrs. Klink, said, it will help guide administrators in providing additional athletic opportunities for students.

        “I think it's a unique thing,” said Stu Eversole, Lakota's athletic director. “It's going to be a basic footprint for our athletic programs.”

        The athletic plan is expected to include an aggressive communication outline to keep parents and athletes talking with coaches. It will outline expectations for athletes, parents and coaches. And, the document will guide administrators in the expansion of athletic programs.

        “We have the district vision of all students having opportunities to maximize their potential,” Mrs. Klink said. “We want that vision to impact what happens in athletics.”

       



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