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GSL Athletic Committee Results

Posted on March 17th, 2016

Dear Parents, 

I am pleased to share with you the findings and recommendations of the Athletic Committee. At the request of the Board, this committee was asked to meet and review the current status of Grace-St. Luke’s Middle School Athletic Program, particularly with an eye towards determining the sports most suitable for our school. The committee was composed of parents across grade levels and with children active in different sports and activities, board members, and members of the GSL athletic staff. They met regularly over several months under Amy Huber’s leadership, reviewing sports offerings at GSL, comparable schools, and schools around Memphis. They commissioned the parent survey given this past fall and worked with Hal Fogleman of Research Dynamics to understand the results. Below you will find a letter from Amy on behalf of the Athletic Committee outlining their findings and recommendations. 

Accordingly, based on the work of the committee, Grace-St. Luke’s will continue to offer all current sports. Beginning next school year, GSL's athletic program will begin to offer girls soccer for grades 6-8 in the fall of 2016 and boys soccer for grades 6-8 in the spring of 2017. Sign-ups will be provided, and if sufficient interest exists, teams will be created to participate in the Shelby League according to their guidelines. While this is a new venture for all of us, I am confident that we will be able to offer these programs in keeping with the best traditions of GSL’s athletic program. 

Thank you for your support of GSL and our sports teams!

Go Saints,

Thor Kvande
Head of School 

Dear Parents,

On behalf of the athletic committee, I would like to thank you for completing the athletic survey. Parent participation and survey results serve as important reminders of the significance sports play in our children’s lives. 

The committee has reviewed the results and here are a few highlights:

• Athletic Director Rick Kohlhof, the coaches, and volunteers are doing an excellent job. More than 70% of the parents surveyed ranked the GSL athletics program as good or excellent.

• Approximately 70% of parents surveyed indicated they would prefer their children play for GSL over a higher, more competitive league.

• When asked about boys middle school football as an important factor in retaining their sons at GSL, more than 30% of parents of boys indicated that it was either very or somewhat important.

• Soccer (if offered) and volleyball are the sports girls are most likely to sign up for in the fall. Football and cross country tied for the sports that boys would most likely sign up for in the fall.

• Boys and girls basketball are the sports children are most likely to sign up for in the winter.

• Boys soccer (if offered), baseball and softball, are the sports children are most likely to sign up for in the spring.

• Combining the lower school and middle school survey results, girls soccer (if offered) ranked in line with football and cross country as the sports children are most likely to sign up for in the fall. Boys soccer (if offered) ranked the highest in all sports children are most likely to sign up for in the spring.

• Except for soccer, not enough interest in adding other sports at this time was expressed.

Accordingly, the committee recommends to the Head of School that:

• All current sports at GSL should continue.

• GSL should retain its football program and continue to recruit from other schools if necessary to secure the appropriate number of players.

• Based on parent survey results, plus city and national trends, we recommend that GSL take steps to form a 6th-8th grade soccer program for both boys and girls with a goal of implementation for the 2016-2017 school year. Girls soccer would be played in the fall and boys soccer in the spring.

Again, thank you for participating in the athletic survey.

Amy Huber
aahuber44 [at] comcast [dot] net


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