After forming a subcommittee tasked with looking into concerns raised about the district’s athletics programs, the Del Norte County Unified School District is considering hiring athletics directors at Crescent Elk Middle School, Smith River and Redwood schools.

In a report to the School Board on Thursday, Human Resources Director Coleen Parker presented a potential salary range for athletics directors at each school site that serves middle school grades and has a sports program. The potential salary range is between $73,000 and $89,000, she said.

Total costs to the district would be between $96,000 and $112,000 for each position, Parker said. Extra costs include workers compensation, social security and other taxes the district has to pay for its staff. The costs also include a stipend certificated and classified staff receive if they are teaching or doing other work outside their preparation period, Parker said.

According to Parker, the athletics director at the middle school level would be a classified position with 220 paid days. The proposed salary schedule would be equivalent to the district’s director of early education, director of foster youth and homelessness and supervisor of maintenance, she said.

The athletics directors would oversee the sports programs at their respective schools, meaning they could not coach a sports team, according to Parker.

Superintendent Jeff Harris said they would also be the person a parent could go to if he or she has a concern about a coach.

At its Aug. 23 meeting, the school board approved job descriptions for athletics directors at the middle school, according to Harris. Trustees had asked Parker to provide them with information about salaries for such a position, he said. The district’s personnel commission must also weigh in on the salary schedule and job descriptions, Harris said.

The potential decision to establish athletics directors at the three middle schools comes after the school board raised concerns on topics ranging from coach conduct to hiring a new athletics director to whether it’s appropriate for junior high school students to participate in traveling teams to athletics facilities in need of repair.

Following that discussion, the school board established a subcommittee with members Frank Magarino and Don McArthur to visit school sites and speak with students, coaches and parents.

On Thursday, Harris said parents and students wanted to see a “continuous athletic program.”

“A continuous athletics program from (grades) 6 to 12 so students really understood what each level of athletics was and how transitions work from middle school to high school; what to expect,” Harris said. “We’re not looking for a bifurcated system, but a more transparent continuum of athletics.”

According to Harris, the district’s athletics director would work with his or her counterpart at the middle school levels to schedule games, talk about funding, equipment and facilities issues.

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