The low number of students at Sorento School, wanting to participate in sports-related activities, has led to the Bond County Unit 2 school board forming a cooperative with Pocahontas and Sorento schools.
The school board took action Monday night, after the cooperative was recommended by Sorento Principal Amy Jackson and Pocahontas Principal Jason Rakers.
The athletic co-op is for the next two school years, which is required by the Illinois Elementary School Association.
Unit 2 Superintendent Wes Olson said the co-op allows all students in both schools to participate if they wish. He said no one wants to see this kind of thing happen, but it’s not the first time it’s been discussed, or the first time it’s happened over the years. Olson said the district is all about expanding opportunities for its students and he believes, even though it’s a combining of programs, that it is an opportunity to provide athletics at the middle school level.
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The action pertains to boys and girls basketball, girls’ volleyball and cheerleading.
Olson said the plan is to play games at both the Pocahontas and Sorento gyms.
A discussion was held about practices, their location and transportation. The superintendent said those decisions have yet to be made.
He said in a past cooperative, students from Sorento practiced at Pocahontas, the district provided transportation after school, but parents had to pick them up after practice.
Stephanie Gerl, board member from Sorento, felt participation may increase if Sorento students were also provided transportation home after practice.
A couple of other board members expressed their support for the district returning the players back home.
Superintendent Olson said the district can explore that matter.
The motion to form the co-op was unanimously approved.