Plano School District 88 Board members recently received an update on how the district’s 692 high school students are spending some of their time when not in the classroom. The report was given by Jim Schmidt, athletic director, who began a practice of meeting with every student in the school one-on-one in 2014.
Schmidt’s continuing goal is to get every student involved in clubs, classes, sports and other extracurricular activities, knowing it would make them feel better about school and even improve their grades in regular classes. He shows them a list of things in which they can participate, and encourages them to choose at least one.
“We’re now at 72 percent participation and there are still some clubs and spring sports that they can participate in. Were getting the kids involved. We’ve done a great job over the last three to four years and we’re still on target to reach our goal of 82-83 percent,” he said.
He expects the number to increase after the new year starts and believes he can meet his goal.
Schmidt said it amazes him that there are still 17 to 18 percent of high school students who are not involved in any extra activity.
“But I’ve tracked the 82-83 percent who do get involved, and there are some who do eight to 12 [extra] things during the year which is amazing. These are kids who are working hard in the classroom and are taking AP courses. But they’re also doing clubs and activities and getting involved in theater and band and chorus. And some of them still have time to do athletics,” he said.
He said 141 out of the 184 freshmen are involved in clubs and other extra activities. From the 188 sophomores, 133 are involved; 107 of the 161 juniors are involved and 117 of the 167 seniors are involved. He noted that 498 out of 692 students in the entire high school are involved in the extra activities, which is 71.9 percent.
Schmidt listed some of clubs students are participating in and said he will have a revised list for the board at the start of the new year.
At the time of his report, 96 students were involved in band and chorus, 14 in bowling, and 26 in PRAISE, a student-led organization that focuses on peer mentoring, leadership, and encouraging respect and kindness within the school.
Also, 27 are in NHI (National Hispanic Institute), 14 in Special Friends, 8 in SLIP (Student Leadership Intuitive Program), 10 in Scholastic Bowl, four in Future Educators of America, eight in chess, 33 in the National Honor Society, 12 in Interact, eight in Fellowship Christian Athletes, 56 in theater, 12 in Family Focus (a grant-funded after-school care program), 32 in art, four in the photo club, and 27 in the Student Council.
The current average of students’ varsity team GPAs is 3.29 for the fall semester, Schmidt said, adding that the GPA of students who have not been involved is significantly lower at 2.41. He said the school also has a GPA board in the main gym and gives out gold, silver and bronze medals to the head coaches for the following team GPAs: Gold for a team GPA of 3.5 or better; silver for a Team GPA 3.49-3.25; and bronze for a Team GPA of 3.24-3.0.
“We have had two years in a row in which all team GPAs were over 3.0,” Schmidt said.