Community service projects are a part of their commitment.
Equality is just not possible. Never has been and never will be. This decision is ridiculous. This is why VISD will struggle, continuously. The Cheer programs are a bright spot for VISD and offer wonderful opportunities for our students. I have no dog in the fight, however if I did I wouldn't accept this decision lying down. One more reason that all these young ladies that cheer and for their parents that spend copias amounts of money throughout the year training and tumbling with private instructors and have invested so much time and money into the local gymnasiums, should pack up and take their skill and talents to Cuero, Industrial, Goliad, or Port Lavaca for that matter. I can assure you that those are school districts that would appreciate the investment parents make, and would be proud to have students represent them nationally and state wide. VISD, wow you guys sease to amaze!
What's next? Are they going to limit baseball, basketball, volleyball, football. VISD Administration: "Oh no, some of our kids attend West Coast Quarterback camps, well uhh that's not fair!" "OMG, a kid took private pitching lessons, hmmm that's not fair either." "Oh dear, a girl play select volleyball! Well that does it!".
This policy stinks, stinks, stinks!
I agree, VBB.
I'm sorry..the only student *from* West....
My nephew was the only one at West at the Debate & Speech Tournamnet in SA this weekend. I asked him how this new rule would affect him & he said he would only get to attend a couple tournaments a year. He participated in the speech portion, where he has 3 topics & has 30 minutes to research, write & memorize his speech. He fell short of making it to the final round, which is pretty impressive for a 10th grader. I don't think speech & debate should be lumped in with cheer & dance as this is purely academic & the others are not.
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(Continues from below)I can also say that financially if a child wants to be given the opportunity to compete and has not had that opportunity then the Junior High and High School Squad is what will give them that opportunity. The cost is less and the opportunities to fundraise for a school organization are greater because as most people know the community wants to support the schools. In the article they did not finish my statement. I was asked if the cost of attending Nationals in Florida was greater than $750.00 and I said yes, but the part not mentioned in the article was that all the funds needed to attend Nationals were raised through fund raising efforts and none of the cheerleaders paid for their trip out of pocket. However, we did have fund raising expectations and “quotas”. I also said I am not against changes in the guidelines that would change those expectations for girls that choose not to compete. If girls choose not to compete then their fundraising expectations. Children of VISD have different interest and different talents so lets support those whether it is music, dance, cheer, debate, Folklorico, art etc. I am not saying that academics is not a priority because I know that it is, and in my opinion it is extracurricular activities that encourages many of these children to do well. It also encourages those kids who may not have that encouragement at home. The coaches check the grades and at times may have even played the parents role in ensuring that the child did what they needed to do to be successful. I have always encouraged my children to be a part of something so they can learn and practice skills they need for life. I know many of you are saying that is what the parents teach them at home and yes I agree, but the chance to have life experiences and practice these things is invaluable. These programs teach so many valuable life lessons and help the individual to be well rounded. These experiences will help them with challenges they may face in their life. It also keeps them active and busy and they are expected to represent their organization well even outside of school. We all have expectations and responsibilities in our life and we have to work for what we have. I know that any child that has the desire to be a part of these organizations can do so with effort and hard work. I have one Senior and one that is still a sophomore, but I am not just speaking up for her last two years I am speaking up for the future children of Victoria. Please continue to support our children. These coaches get very little pay and appreciation for all they do and we owe them more respect than THIS. Thank you Ms. Neel, Ms. Kristie, and Mannings. We love you! Come on Victoria we have a voice in this!!!
Some of these comments just totally amaze me. I cannot understand why people would not support programs that are beneficial to our children. There are so many people in other places that look up to what we have here in Victoria and wish they had programs like ours. I cannot understand why VISD would consider making these changes so significant that these programs will have great difficulty trying to succeed. If changes our made they should be more reasonable and still provide our children an opportunity to do what they love to do. Our kids enjoy camp and many other activities associated with cheerleading. My kids participated in both a private competitive squad and high school squad and they had a great experience at both. However they knew their goal was to someday cheer at their local high school and be a part of a competitive squad they had looked up to for many years. As I said they enjoyed both very much, but it is two different experiences and two different styles of competition. They also wanted to be a part of their school, traditions, etc.
Middle school cheerleading programs don't receive any funding from VISD, which creates greater out of pocket expense. These sponsors receive no compensation for their time and talent. Cheerleading is an extra-curricular activity, so no educational classroom time is abused. Restricting these programs doesn't save VISD a dime.
If the parents from these non-UIL groups don't object and the sponsors/coaches stay within their budget cap, why should any of them be restricted from camp or competition? If expenses do go over the cap - isn't that what fundraising is for? As long as it is within reason? Not every child is college bound in our community, so these challenges and experiences teach them life skills that they won't get in the classroom and they motivate them to keep their grades up so they can participate. If these programs are being led as they were designed to be, on top of safety, skill and technique, these kids learn respect, responsibility, leadership, organization, time management, and commitment - things I think are definitely lacking in this generation.
I think it's sad that these girls are expected to support their schools and cheer for all of their sports and activities, but who supports them? It's pretty obvious from these comments who actually has a child in one of these programs...
These cheerleader/drill team events are a racket, anyway.There are about two dozen so-called "national championships" around the country and you don't even have to qualify for these "national" events.Theme parks put these on to fill their parks and motels with participants, their parents, grandparents, families and friends for three days and then throw out "national tiles" like candy.You see "national champion" decals on cars in Victoria. Then you go to El Campo and see that they are also "national champions." There are cheerleader/drill team "national champions" in virtually every town in America. I don't want my dime going to this farce.
No Johnanthonylara, way off base. I know for drill team, they practice and prepare from summer through fall to compete in spring. It may just be me, but I dont think much more prep time is needed. Cant really speak for cheerleading, but my basic understanding is similar. For speech and debate, it is the repitition of going to tournaments and facing the competition that lets you improve. Things change week over week to adapt to the every changing world and current events, and a majority of it is extemporaneous. I would assume this reg would not affect One Act Play because it is purely UIL anyway.
Another reason to take your kids out of VISD.
I dealt with the splitting of the schools. I dealt with the dress code. But this is too much. I can speak for every group being effected, especially drill team, when I say that this is so unfair. I can understand the cap on how much out of pocket we can spend, that is agreeable. What I can't understand is where is this limit on competitions coming from? One competition per year? As a member of a high school dance and drill team, I know first hand that practicing for nearly 4 months to prepare for competition is hard work, but it is nessacary and that feeling when you win is undescribable. I don't feel it's worth 4 months of practice to go to one competiton. In state. If we fundraise the money (which we did) then we should be able to spend our money however we choose. And summer camps? I don't know about other organizations, but we have 2 out of town camps (officer and line). Officers go to officer camp to build on to their leadership skills and become closer to the officer group. The whole team goes a few weeks later to Line camp and we build up our team as a family and learn techniques from dance instructors from different places. At each we build closer and stronger bonds with each other nessecary to survive the year. Is this yet another effort to be equal at both schools? Or is VISD just trying to diminish all non-UIL activities because they aren't funded for them. God forbid this happen to football or basketball or any other sport. All hell would break loose in Victoria, and these comments would be more of "What were they thinking?" instead of the reiterated "About time VISD." No one is thinking of the students and the people that are getting stepped on and hurt when they decide these petty 'regulations'.
local drill team and cheerleader teams have a long history of being 'out of control' with their trips and 'fund raising'. one can only look at the recent events with a local drill team for further evidence.
this type of regulations were long in the making and way past due. i applaud visd for finally taking a tougher stance.
Although UIL rules often seem restrictive and even silly at times, they are based on at least two principles 1) keep activities accessible to all students, and 2) protect students from leaders/directors who may let their program get "out of balance" in an attempt to be more competitive (e.g. practicing 20 hours a week). These new restrictions on non-UIL activities seem to have the same intent. I'm sure some of the details will get worked out, but in general I would agree that such a policy is necessary.
Why are they only restricting nonUIL groups? Because the world would end if they control football/basketball/baseball spending? I would like to know how much is budgeted for each extra-curricular activity? From a quick count it seems West High has approx. 20 coaches and PE teachers.
"No more than three days of practice (including games or performances) per week is allowed during the school year.
A maximum of two weeks of summer practice is allowed."
Why are the "sports" teams not held the the same restrictions? Do they need less study time?I completely agree with restrictions but I think they should affect everyone. Requiring outside classes is crazy. They should be restricted to a number of fund raisers. But why should the football team get out of town trips 5 times a year at least and the dance team none.
VISDMom, I dont think UIL is an issue, in fact it is anything competing other than, including those activities you stated, that seem to be the problem. Essentially VISD is going to the "Sports is King" role. I wonder how much they will actually enforce the students not raising money for the booster club? That is all the athletic boosters do to raise money. Send the kids out (other than the concession stands). Lord help the sports/band having to ride in a school bus like other organizations (i.e. speech/debate)
I understand the need for tightening budget belts; I truly do. However, this decision is impacting more than just cheerleaders and such (although you would never know it from the comments here). There are many more organizations that are absolutely not UIL-related but still have 3-4 one day competitions per year - out of town but not overnight. The students pay for their own meals, but the organization has to pay for the school buses for transportation, and VISD will no longer allow that to take place. For some of these students, these are the only activities in which they excel, in which they feel they belong and in which they feel they truly make a difference. Now VISD is telling students in groups such as AFJROTC and Folklorico that they will no longer be able to compete in ANYTHING at all, because all of their competitions take place out of town. These students work as hard as any football, basketball, baseball player or drillteam dancer at their chosen activity. I had a difficult time understanding from the article...if (a) student(s) in a UIL-sanctioned event progressed from district to area to regional to state, would they be allowed to go to all the events, or not? If not, then what is the point of UIL at all? Or will VISD tell them after they get past district, "oh you have to pay all your own way now." Tough luck for those with lower income and can't afford it.
Thanks for the clarification and pointing me in the direction of the NFHS. There are invaluable resources on their website showing the short term and long term success of students involved in extra-curricular activities and the the positive effects they carry over to the schools themselves. In addition, I found they also set guidelines for competitive cheer/dance, including resources for coaches.
afatherfirst, in speech and debate summer camps are encouraged, but far from required. It is entirely up to the student. They can compete just as much as the person who went to camp and at least in the past, the person who could afford to go to a summer camp came back and shared all of the information for the good of the team. It is sad that VISD is taking that individual family choice away from the student. Also, in speech and debate, there is a national organization and really only one national champion per event (National Forensic League). There are some other prestigious national qualifying tournaments, but they are not considered national champions (Tournament of Champions winner). Also, UIL does follow the governance of a national organization, including sports. The NFHS (National Federation of State High School Associations) governs UIL, TFA, NFL, etc...does not hold any competitions, but does make the rules, topics, equipment rules, etc.
justsoyouknow, a few points of clarification. This is a regulation from the VISD administrative board not the VISD Board of Education. Additionally, I would love to see our students thrive in all competitions, academic, athletic and non-UIL, especially if it will afford them the opportunity for higher education. I did take a moment to look at the UIL academic results you referred to. And while as a team, neither East nor West was near the top, I counted at least 13 individuals or teams that were advancing on to the regional level. If the posted results are complete, then it appears we entered far fewer students and events than the other teams you mentioned. Nevertheless, I applaud all VISD students that competed for their school.
Your point about the lack of one true overall authority and a real national champion in cheer, dance & debate (funny how those keep gaining the greatest amount of ire) is duly noted. But, let's face it, on a NATIONAL level there is no one true overall authority or national champion over any event the UIL governs, either. Coincidentally, out of the 98 years the UIL has existed all public schools weren't included until 1970. In fact, the UIL wasn't legally considered an official state agency until until October of last year.
I wholeheartedly agree that VISD focus should be on our children's education. Over both UIL and non-UIL events alike. But, I fail to see where your argument concerning the quality of the education is diminished by competing in these events, especially if little to no school monies are spent on them. I would respectfully love to hear your views to the contrary.
And gr8tdancer, what can I say? You are right. Why should a child have to spend their own money on outside lessons as a prerequisite for membership? Although, many band members are encouraged to do so, I am not sure if it is a prerequisite.
And your point about class credit. I agree, they should get at least a PE credit for their efforts. Maybe if they did, they wouldn't need outside gym instruction.
And finally, the point about parents being so concerned about competing...I'll admit, some are. Just like they are in everything from little league to high school football. You can't change who they are. But to bring about changes that would severely limit a child's ability to be involved or represent their school is simply punishing the child. No one, including the hyper-competitive parent (well, none I know anyway), wants to do away with classes or education. It's not about putting "cheer/dance" (there's that ire again) above education. It's simply about giving them another avenue to be involved. And involved children are productive children.
To conclude, I am not waging a war to maintain the status quo. I just don't want to see kids lose opportunities in our district without really trying to address the specific, quantifiable problems.
also on the every kid gets a medal for TFA and NFL events. NOT TRUE. At some tournaments, over 100 kids compete...in this only those 6-8 advancing to the final round get anything, including points. True they will receive speaking points for NFL, but that goes to their honor society level that eventually only goes to total school entries based off of degree levels. At TFA state, events easily have over 150 entries with only ONE champion. No divisional breakout like UIL. All classifications in the state duke it out together. If anything, it is easier to win a state title in UIL because of that and the fact you are duking it out against private schools as well in TFA and NFL. At NFL nationals, you had to be one of the 1, 2, or occasionally 3 to advance out of your NFL district competition to the national competition. You then face off in a week long competition against other qualifiers across THE ENTIRE COUNTRY (feel free to dig through the nfl website to understand the meet). While finalist do receive things, only ONE champion PER EVENT. No extra classifications like UIL.
Also, justsoyouknow, UIL speech and debate follows NFL guidelines and in CX debate, follows the NFL debate resolution which is also the NFHS resolution. Pretty much every school, even the most dedicated UIL schools in the 1A level up in east texas, competes in NFL. It is a forensic honor society. check it out http://www.nflonline.org. There is a great educational video on there that will automatically start produced by ESPN.
Whooa justsoyouknow, junk events at TFA (btw there is no such thing as TFL) and NFL tournaments? Just where do you get this information, I would LOVE to know? The typical UIL invitational tournament carries a ton of junk events (group improv, record mime, etc). A typical TFA tournament only consist of state qualifying events (lincoln douglas, cross-examination, public forum debate, domestic and foreign extemporaneous speaking, oratory, dramatic and humorous interpretation, student congress). They will also occasionally have prose/poetry as well as impromptu speaking. The average UIL invitational (not district, regionals, state) has about 30 events. The average TFA has 10-12 events. Also lost in your reasoning is what circuit Gregory Portland and Calhoun travel. G-P has been a power on the TFA circuit for decades. Calhoun is a recent addition. Both now attend (in GP case exclusively) TFA tournaments, with the occasion one UIL prep tournament. The NFL tournaments are end of the year meets that use the points you gain by participating in forensic activities (UIL, TFA, Voice of Democracy, speech at the rotary club, etc). Based on the points you get so many entries at a district meet. Based on the districts total entries, a certain amount of people advance to nationals. ONLY NFL sanctioned events compete. There are a total of 2 NFL tournaments (district and nationals). So again, justsoyouknow, where do you get your speech and debate information?
I can't believe after many years VISD came to its senses. Parents have been paying way too much money for Middle School and High School cheerleading/dance. It was brought to my attention that East High School cheerleaders were forced to pay Mannings $135.00 a month for each girl cheering this year. Every girl on the squad was required to do so. That is unacceptable. How can you make a child pay for a class that is outside of school. That is like telling a band member they must take private lessons. Good call VISD. I also heard cheerleaders dont even get a credit for being a cheerleader after their first year on the squad. Why have cheer a class? How can you have a class period offered to you that you don't receive a credit for? This blows my mind!!! Atleast drill team gets a credit for dance. If these parents are so concerned with competing, I believe that is what Mannings does. Send your child there. Some parents need to put education first and not be concerned with cheer/dance. It is extra people!!! Our schools are already taking a hit on education funding, don't whine about losing funding on an extra curricular activity.
Yeaaaa VISD board.Time to get some emphasis back on the real mission of the school.If anyone looked at the District 30-4A Spring Academic Meet results - which the Advocate chose not to report week before last - they'd see that East and West combined finished a distant third behind Port Lavaca, and Gregory Portland. (Official results are on the UIL website for all to see.)That's in contests that test your students reading, speaking, writing, and 'rithmatic skills. Its time for some truth about the non-UIL/FFA competitions that have grown up in the past 25 years.All these so-called national cheer and dance contests actually only draw teams that can afford the trips from a small number of states.I once worked in a school where the dance team "won" a national competition where there were only teams from Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas in attendance.There is no true "national" governing body for any of those activities.The same is generally true for TFL and NFL (Texas Forensic League and National Forensic League) speech and debate where their state and national contests have so many "junk" events added in that almost every kid wins a medal of some kind and points toward going to nationals at every meet - win, lose or draw.In contrast, UIL contests are true structured state level competition and FFA (the contest parts, not the stock show part) does have a truely national organization with rules and standards.
afatherfirst, you are right regarding the Harvard tournament and even some other non-UIL tournaments. The killer here is that the only schools really left competing in UIL practice tournaments will not get you ready for this district (GP is one of the best programs in the state in speech and debate) and they would be crushed in regionals where a majority of the programs compete in the Texas Forensic Association. Now the governing rules are not much different, but the level of competition is night and day. For in state tournaments, I know historically has not included much coming out of the students pocket, if any. Of course a tournament like Harvard or Stanford or Berkley would be different. Airfair alone eats $750. Personally on an academic advancement activity like debate (increases ivy league acceptance by 50%), I think these restrictions are rediculous. So in this case students cannot compete in state meets of another organization? Cant compete in the National Forensic League meet which governs UIL even? To top it off, where are the restrictions on FFA? Skills USA? Why are sports still allowed the 2-3 day tournament trips?Also if you look at the txfa.org page, the homepage for the Texas Forensic Association, you will find that Katy, Katy Taylor, Mayde Creek and Seven Lakes all still competed and traveled heavily in a non-UIL circuit and competed at the state meet. So sure sounds like we are not copying that policy very well.
What, football not getting a cap? How surprising...cap all or none...make it fair for all activities
Do more with education!!!! That's the bottom line. I hear of so many kids struggling with reading and speech. Don't get me wrong I absolutely LOVE SPORTS!! I go and support many sporting events but educating these kids is more important than cheerleading and sporting events. Wait a minute.....before you jump all over me.....I was once a cheerleader myself and on the dance team!!! OH, and played sports. I love it all and I think kids ought to be involved. Where am I at now???? Not cheering or playing sports for a living.....I am a successful mother and business woman.
enjay, the way the district has explained it to me is that only certain speech and debate events are UIL. If a group of debaters is invited to a prestigious non-UIL event, say in Boston, to compete, they would fall under these new regulations. Likewise for any of the schools Problem Solvers teams. Again, other opportunities for the children of our district to showcase their talent and be recognized in the form of financial aid. And, FFA is a good question. I haven't received a response on that one yet.
1 - Speech and Debate is UIL sanctioned. 2 - Does this affect FFA?
Part 2 of 2
Again, I want to thank the administration for recognizing a flaw in the current process, but at the same time implore you to look for a solution that doesn't adversely affect the children in our district.
And, concerning the comments about the cheer squads being "out of control" and "an elitist group," please remember, these are children in our district, not al queda. If you have a personal issue with the coach, which seems to be the case since you called out Ms. Neel by name, why haven't you tried to find a better solution? You have advocated killing the competitive cheer squads from the schools, forcing anyone with that skill set (with which they could obtain a college scholarship) to seek out private gyms. If you think the amount shelled out by the individual members of the school organization was high and prohibitive and selective, wait until you see the fees for a private gym. Again, I agree that there should be some cap on the amount a participant should have to come up with, but disagree with the assertion that "the burden placed on the local business community" of club/team fundraisers can't help make up the difference.
Having graduated from business school and attended numerous business conferences, one truism they repeated over and over has stood the test of time and recession:
Success thrives best when the following are adhered to: The customer/consumer comes first, the company second, and the individual third.
In this case, the children are the consumer, the overall district is the company and the individual is just our own opinions.
Whatever we advocate, let's make sure we put the kids first.
Part 1 of 2
Everyone makes a good point. No one with a conscience should be in favor of any school related activity limiting participation based solely on financial status. I applaud the administration for examining the situation and doing something about it. Unfortunately, in their effort to provide equal opportunity, they appear to have "thrown the baby out with the bathwater."
I say that because, as a school district, we should be taking great strides to provide opportunities for our children. Statistics show time and time again that when a child becomes involved with extra-curricular activities in their school, it improves their performance in the classroom (directly due to the activities minimum grade requirements, indirectly due to improved self confidence) and improves the morale of the the school itself.
In addition, these non-UIL events, provide scholarships. Competitive cheer, dance, debate, all these and more, can positively impact the ability of the children in our community to receive additional funding for their future education. For someone without the means to pay for college, this is another avenue to make it a reality.
As to the point about it being cost prohibitive for several students, I can totally see the rationale. Left to their own devices, an individual could conceivably be out anywhere from $1,000 - $3,000 for a non-school funded team. I support a cap on the out of pocket expenses. (In addition, I would like to see these same caps applied to any UIL events as well.) But, I would like to see the teams have several opportunities to raise the funds on their own. No quotas, but several opportunities. As a supporter of just about every Jr. High/High School club, team or organization in a three county area, I enjoy the opportunity of helping the teams, as I am sure several others do.
Wow, what a stupid policy.
What about football??? We'll do anything for football... Bunch of VISD bureacracy which stems from jealous mamas trying to limit the girl programs from having national championships... Ms. Neel should probably retire after this because you cannot fight VISD... They hate your success and want to run you off just like they did Mrs. Jaynes... It's been that way for years...
VISD now cut back on the sports and focus on education. We have more coaches in VISD than needed. Cut back on the amout of games and and how far they go for games or tournaments. I have gone to several VISD sporting events and its sad there is not more of a crowd. I went to several of the basketball playoff games boys and girls and the crowds were very small for the size of schools we have. I have noticed even in professional sports that the seats are not all filled. The economy has hurt all sports professional and high school. We have 2 semi-pro football teams in Victoria and they cant get over 150 to 200 people to come out to these games either. Its simple cut back on events or cut prices to get more people out.
I applaud the VISD policy....cheerleading has been out of control for a long time in our district. The financial burden placed on the parents of these students is overwhelming. In these difficult economic times, with the rising daily cost of living expenses, many students are denied the opportunity to participate simply because of financial reasons. At a time when education in Texas is facing severe funding cuts it is appropriate to limit funding and travel....by both VISD and the parents. The burden placed on the local business community will be eased with the lack of constant fund raising to support the cheerleading squads.To those parents that feel the need to have a professional cheer squad, hire Ms Neel and form your own private competition squad, but with no ties to VISD. An elitist group, based on financial ability to contribute has no place in VISD......redirect that energy to providing the students in VISD the best education possible.
This helps level the field for those who can't afford to go to private dance schools so as to be able to join the public school dance teams. I'm with Jackdeuce. Cheerleaders are supposed to go to sporting/school events and CHEER. Well done and a long time coming.Patrick Barnes
It restricts Junior Highs from more than two fundraisers. Trust me when I tell you that in Katy it still costs a family WAY MORE than $750 for all expenses for dance and cheerleading and even color guard at most schools. The out of town trips are considered separate from the base cost of being in the group. We are only allowed one out of state trip every four years. Any overnight stays for the group must be in conjuction with a competition.You have to think that this is to help reduce the cost to the district for the upcoming year for school bus usage and isn't much off what some other districts will be doing as well.There are rumors of no travel for bands, cheerleaders or drill teams to out of town games for certain districts. Budget shortfalls have to be made up for somewhere.
I want to know the reasons behind the decision to ban all out of town competition. What idiot decided to close the cheering section of the school project. Just tell the cheerleaders that you don't want them to cheer any longer. This is one dumb decision. Let the parents of the cheerleaders pay for the expences of going out of town. Let them fundraise more than twice a year. Remember this when elections come around. Let the parents fund the activities of the groups. Resend this order!