May 25, 2024

Ashby School’s strategic aim at enhancing student opportunities

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Jake Sias
Grant County Herald

Ashby School District is proactively seeking to resolve an issue that many rural communities are facing in the present day of vast opportunities. It has been a fear of many communities that by collaborating with neighboring districts a sense of community identity will be lost.

In late January, the district held a strategic planning meeting in which the public was invited to attend to provide input via a ten-question survey. The district has 315 students, so receiving input from 120 surveys gives quite the dataset for the community’s responses. The first question on the survey stated: What do Ashby sports and activities bring to our students and community? The answers were handwritten but 23.3% responded highlighting the importance of identity, community pride, and legacy, while another 16.7% focused on the community engagement and benefit. Another 11.7% also stressed the accessibility of different opportunities available to the students. Currently, of students between 7th through 12th grades, only 7 students are not participating in some form of extra-curricular activity, and roughly 60% of that same range of students are participating in three different activities throughout the school year. These high levels of engagement within a small school such as Ashby does have some unique benefits, like plenty of opportunities for students to actively play rather than being stuck warming the bench. 

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