The conversation about whether or not the Arcola School District should start a soccer program has recently started. To provide some clarity to the conversation, the following are some facts related to the topic:
1. Three community members addressed the Arcola School Board during the public comment portion of the school board meeting on October 12, 2022. They asked the board to consider adding soccer as a sport in Arcola.
2. The school board agenda on October 12, 2022 did not have an action item for considering soccer. The full board was not notified in advance of the meeting that soccer would be discussed. The board listened to the comments from the public but did not take any action (they could not take action because it was not on the agenda). The board did not deny the request.
3. Superintendent Mulligan responded to the request by thanking the community members for bringing the matter to the school board. He indicated that the school would again be surveying student athletes in November/early December about their interest in a variety of sports (this is called a student interest survey). If the data indicates a strong interest in the students’ desire to participate in soccer, then the administration will take a more detailed look at the feasibility of adding soccer as a sport.
4. Dr. Mulligan also referenced a study that was conducted during the 2020-2021 school year regarding the feasibility of adding soccer at that time. He indicated that in 2021, his recommendation at that time was not to start a soccer program.
5. The feasibility study report includes a detailed look at this complicated issue. There are many issues to consider including Title IX, field location, how the new sport will interact with other sports during the soccer season (football, golf, softball and track), potential schedule, etc. The report can be found on the district webpage: SOCCER REPORT
6. The community members also presented the possible idea of having a cooperative soccer program with the Arthur School District (ALAH currently has their own soccer program). The Arcola School District board and administration have not been approached by anyone in official capacity from the Arthur School District regarding their interest in cooping soccer.
Starting any new sport in a school, especially a small school, is a big decision. It takes a lot of time to collect and consider all the information. Again, the district will begin by gauging student interest and go from there.