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Local sports programs to be reviewed by athletes, parents

Plans are underway for athletes and their parents in grades six through 12 in the Sunnyside School District to participate in athletic surveys.

Bill Daley, athletic director for Sunnyside High School, said the survey development is "in its real infant stages right now."

Daley said there will be a list of 200 questions from which a group of parents will choose 20. The high school's leadership team of students will also whittle a selection of 200 questions to develop another 20-question survey for athletes.

When completed, Daley said the athlete/parent surveys and responses will be "an opportunity to gain feedback and gather data for us to share with coaches related to the perceptions of their programs."

After athletes and parents answer the survey questions, Daley said Clarkston-based LifeTrack will provide the district with a data analysis from the responses.

As of now, though, the focus is on developing the survey questions-which may range from evaluating athletic facilities to grades and nutrition-in time for the Sunnyside School Board meeting later this month.

If the board approves going forward with the questionnaires, Daley said the survey program will begin with the current winter sports programs.

He noted the questionnaires would be distributed to athletes about two weeks before the end of the winter season and every season thereafter.

Parents of high school athletes would be asked their survey questions during the sports banquets at the season's close, Daley said. He also said there is some thought to administering the survey to middle school athlete parents via the telephone.

Daley said the questionnaires will not only help the district evaluate its athletic programs from a parent and student perspective, but also provide a federally mandated Title IX survey to compare the level of athletic participation between boys and girls.

"The ability to do a Title IX survey is very difficult when you have schools with enrollment of 1,400 or 600 students," Daley said of the high school and middle schools, respectively. "One of the (Title IX) issues we have is less female participation (in athletics) than ideally we would want." He added that the new athletic surveys will "expedite" the process of a Title IX survey.

Daley said he is looking forward to the parent and athlete surveys.

He noted, "The exciting thing is, we're involving the interest groups and we can tailor it (the surveys) on a yearly basis."

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