Schools weigh sports, co-curricular changes

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PORTLAND — The School Department will hold a public hearing on Nov. 18 to discuss potential changes to middle and high school athletics and co-curricular activities.

Potential changes include establishing a nonprofit foundation to solicit grants and corporate sponsorships, hiring a co-curricular director, consolidating the purchases of sporting equipment and uniforms, and raising academic eligibility standards for athletes.

The changes are recommended in a report from the Red & Blue Foundation, a Boston-based consulting firm that interviewed 65 stakeholders at the School Committee’s request.

The report also calls for more academic support for athletes and co-curricular participants, as well as combining boosters into a single club, tying funding to participation rates, setting a consistent policy for gate revenues, and developing consistent hiring procedures for coaches.

The Nov. 18 public hearing will run from 7-9 p.m. in the Deering High School gym.