Meeting in Boise Sept. 24, the Idaho High School Activities Association Board of Directors approved a request by the Community School to remain in the 1A Division 2 ranks for the 2014-16 classification cycle.
The superintendent’s vote was 11-5 in support of the Sun Valley independent school’s request to petition down from 1A Division 1 to 1A Division 2.
The Community School, with an average enrollment of 149 students used to ascertain the 2014-16 cycle, had to petition the IHSAA to move down from 1A Division 1 (100-159 students) and remain in Division 2 (99-and-under for grades 9-12).
At issue for the Community School was the level of 1A athletic competition in boys' and girls' basketball and volleyball.
The school’s main sports as far as competitive success—boys/girls soccer and boys/ girls tennis—are contested at the 3A level since IHSAA sanctions no 2A or 1A small-school competition in those sports.
In 2007, the Community School’s student enrollment exceeding 100 students caused it to petition the IHSAA to stay in 1A Division 2. That petition was approved by an 11-9 vote.
Yet for the previous classification period, 2012-14, the Sun Valley school reported an average enrollment of 96 students, so it qualified for Division 2. Its increase of 53 students for the upcoming period was one of Idaho’s biggest increases.
Travel hardship was one of the reasons the Community School petitioned down to Division 2. Playing in 1A Division 1 for volleyball and basketball would have been required travel to schools located south of the Snake River like Raft River of Malta, Oakley and Hagerman.
In other IHSAA actions regarding 2014-16 classification petitions last Tuesday:
· Lighthouse Christian Academy’s request to remain in 1A Division 2 was approved. Lighthouse had been 79 students for 2012-14, but moved up to 111 students for 2014-16. The Twin Falls school said it expected to decline in enrollment for that period. Its petition was granted with the stipulation that if Sept. 2014 and 2015 enrollment figures exceeded the classification maximum, the school would be ineligible for district and state competition at both the Division 1 and Division 2 levels.
· Among schools successfully petitioning up to 1A Division 1 were Genesee (73 students), Greenleaf Friends (65) and Rimrock (89). Kuna with its 1,281 students, right at the cut-off between 5A (1,280-and-over) and 4A (640-1,279), was allowed to remain 4A.
· Columbia of Nampa (1,335) and Nampa (1,555) moved up from 4A to 5A. Last cycle, Columbia was 1,223 and Nampa 1,193. Their addition means the Boise area will have 12 schools at the 5A level and only six will stay at 4A—Bishop Kelly, Caldwell, Kuna, Middleton, Mountain Home and Skyview.
· The Emmett Huskies, barely above the 4A cut-off at 647 students last cycle, went down to 3A because of its new 639 level.
Hailey’s Wood River High School stayed the sixth-smallest of Idaho’s 4A schools with 746 students, down from 807 last cycle. In contrast, the schools in its Great Basin Conference for 2014-16 are Burley 820 (860 last time), Jerome 938 (911), Minico 995 (1,081), Twin Falls 1,099 (1,050) and Canyon Ridge 1,128 (1,038).
Carey High School with its 61 students has dropped from 70 in the last cycle. The biggest of Idaho’s schools is one of its newest, Rocky Mountain of Meridian with 2,162 students (1,991).