Rochester, MN  (KROC AM News) - There will be some major changes affecting Rochester’s high school cooperative sports agreements.  

The Rochester Catholic School system Thursday announced it has reached agreement with the Rochester Public School District on the future of the cooperative program.

The proposal is scheduled to be voted on by the Rochester School Board at its meeting next Tuesday.  

Under the agreement:

 

  • The girls hockey co-op will end after the 2016/2017 season
  • The lacrosse co-op will end after the 2018/2019 season
  • The wrestling co-op will end after the 2018/2019 season
  • The swimming co-op will continue under its current arrangement

RCS says the agreement will also allow Lourdes students who are currently participating in the lacrosse and wrestling programs to continue competing through the Class of 2019.  

RCS says if the agreement is approved, it’s expected Lourdes will establish a girls hockey team in time for the 2017/2018 season.  

RCS says it will consider a new cooperative agreement with the Rochester district for the 2019/2020 season for its lacrosse and wrestling programs, depending on the number of participants. It may also establish its own programs or consider cooperative agreements with other schools.

A vote had been scheduled earlier by the Rochester School Board to terminate the longtime cooperative agreement but it was delayed after numerous Lourdes parents expressed anger at the sudden proposed recommendation. That led to talks that resulted in the current proposal.

 

Here is the RCS announcement:

 

 

We had hoped to schedule the timing of this communication to our families so that it would coincide with ISD 535’s posting of the revised proposed resolution on the upcoming school board meeting agenda slated to go live tomorrow. We felt this would be the most prudent approach in coordinating the accuracy of information and details. Unfortunately, some of you may have heard via a recent media news story how Rochester Catholic Schools will be responding to ISD 535’s proposal to dissolve the cooperative sports agreements, specifically as it relates to hockey.
Therefore, in an effort to communicate the facts in a timely manner, and prevent the possible spread of any limited or misinformation, we’d like to take the opportunity now for our families to hear directly from us an update of the status regarding the co-op conversations. Over the past several weeks, we have engaged in meetings with representatives from ISD 535 to discuss concerns, desires, and improved outcomes with respect to the cooperative sports agreement resolution proposed last month. We have advocated strongly for our RCS students and those of the wider Rochester community and as intended, we achieved the goal of discussing each sport individually. A resolution, that has been mutually agreed upon, will be placed on the ISD 535 School Board agenda for June 21, 2016 wherein the following actions will take place pending ISD 535 School Board approval.
1.     Girls Hockey - will dissolve after 2016-2017
2.     Boys/Girl Lacrosse - will dissolve after 2018-2019
3.     Wrestling - will dissolve after 2018-2019
4.     Boys/Girls Swimming and Diving - will continue without change and will not be a part of the proposed resolution for dissolution
As with all co-ops, the opportunity to review participation numbers and program viability will be reviewed in the future affording opportunities to potentially engage in new agreements in the 2019-2020 school year and beyond.
We understand that to some members of our school community, this resolution may not be considered “ideal”, however, we do believe the timeline allows us to synthesize the desires of our parent and student community, conduct an impact study on current programs and budget, weigh options, and decide how best to proceed. While the administration of both school districts are in mutual agreement regarding the contents of the new proposal, it is still important to note that, in the end, the decision lies with ISD 535’s School Board. Should the resolution pass, and the co-ops dissolve as outlined above, RCS is prepared to respond with the following actions:
Hockey (Girls)
1.     Lourdes will establish a Lourdes High School Girls Hockey team with an inaugural season commencing in 2017-2018.
Lacrosse (Boys and Girls)
1.     Total participants numbers will be reviewed in the 2018-2019 school year and, if numbers suggest, a new cooperative agreement could be entered into beginning in the 2019-2020 school year …or...
2.     If numbers warrant, Rochester Catholic Schools leadership will support exploring options to begin our own Lacrosse teams or co-ops with other schools.
Wrestling (Boys)
1.     Total participants numbers will be reviewed in the 2018-2019 school year and, if numbers suggest, a new cooperative agreement could be entered into beginning in the 2019-2020 school year …or...
2.     If numbers warrant, Rochester Catholic Schools leadership will support exploring options to begin our own Wrestling team or seek co-ops with other schools.
Swimming and Diving (Girls and Boys)
1.     Our boys and girls will continue to participate in the existing cooperative agreement with John Marshall High School without change. No action will be required of RCS as this sport will not be included in the revised resolution.
With the extended timeline reflected in this revised proposal, Lourdes student athletes presently participating in the Lacrosse and Wrestling co-ops will be afforded the opportunity to compete over the next three years. This will now allow Lourdes students through the Class of 2019 continued participation in their respective sport until they graduate. Additionally, we are grateful for ISD 535 listening and responding to our unique concerns regarding Boys/Girls Swimming and Diving.
As we look to the future, we remain committed to the continuous advocacy of our students and providing them with as many opportunities as possible to explore their interests and talents. We thank you for your support.
Sincerely,
Michael Brennan, Director of Schools, Rochester Catholic Schools
Paul Menard, Principal, Lourdes High School

Marv Peters, Activities Director, Lourdes High School

For 24/7 news and sports check KROC AM and follow KROC-AM on Facebook.