A small Skyline middle school girl's basketball team will get some help from the sixth grade girls when the team hits the hardwood this season.
With just eight girls going out for the middle school team, the Skyline Board of Education voted unanimously Monday night to allow sixth grade girls to play on the team.
The action took place during the regular monthly Board meeting.
The Board agreed that the total number of students participating in middle school basketball would be 12.
The middle school boys have from 20 to 23 interested in playing and do not have a numbers issue.
Middle school basketball practices during the last hour of the day. That is also the same time as science and social studies for the sixth graders.
Teachers in those classes have agreed to allow the students to miss those classes to participate in basketball only if the student makes up all the work, said Mike Sanders, Skyline superintendent.
A letter explaining the situation was sent to student's parents and 14 students have expressed preliminary interest in playing basketball.
In order for this arrangement to work, students will definitely need some support from home, said Elementary Principal Becca Flowers.
Sixth grade girls will be eligible for junior varsity only. They will not play on the varsity team. That is a local decision made at Skyline.
Basketball is the only sport where the middle school numbers are so low that it requires sixth graders to participate.
Looking ahead, the projected levels of the lower grades indicate that this will probably be necessary for only one year, Sanders said.
Besides Skyline requirements, since sixth graders are not in high school, they fall under the Kansas Department of Education rules and regulations and not the Kansas State High School Activities Association.
"We will have to work with their (KDE) guidelines," Sanders said.
Having sixth graders on the middle school team will have advantages for the future. Sixth grade players will already have experience when they reach middle school, said Coach Chuck Young.
The Board visited the kindergarten room and watched Teacher Joyce Temanson demonstrate the technology available for all kindergarten students.
Students have access to Smart Boards, individual computers and iPads.
With available programs, students can interact with the Smart Board as they learn spelling and math. Some programs allow students to move at their own pace as well as let the teachers teach at the student's pace as well, Temanson said.
The kids think its fun and enjoy learning.
Students also take advantage of iPads in the classroom. Although the number of iPads is limited, students have adapted and share the pads. The class needs more iPads but with limited funds teachers have had to look to grants to help get funding.
A Walmart grant helped purchase the iPads in the classroom.
"I appreciate the teachers going above and beyond to get the technology," Sanders said. "It helps get the technology into the student's hands quicker."
Another good part of the programs the students use in the classroom is that parents can bring up the program on their home computer and help the student if necessary.