Save Tech Tiger & Community Gymnastics
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Recently, the St. Cloud School Board announced it's plans for the new Tech High School after passing a referendum during the 2016 elections. The referendum promised to focus on "Building Schools, Building Futures". The community approved this referendum with this in mind.
Research shows that the most successful students have developed not only strong cognitive skills, thanks to academic programs, but strong "soft skills" - those skills that teach them how to manage time, develop leadership skills and assist them to become productive parts of our community.
The Tech Gymnastics High School program, along with Junior Tigers (feeder/competition program) and the District 742 Community Education Gymnastics classes draw in hundreds of children per fiscal year. Last year, over 600 gymnasts participated in these programs (21 varsity/junior varsity gymnasts, 31 junior tiger gymnasts and 606 community education gymnasts).
These gymnastics programs are extremely successful - athletically as well as academically. The High School team has made appearances in the MN State High School Gymnastics Tournament for the past 11 years and are the current reigning state champions. All the while, this team maintains an average GPA of 3.84.
The plans for the new Tech High School DO NOT include a space for this year round gymnastics program. While High School gymnastics is a winter sport, Junior Tigers is a year-round team and community education classes are provided March - October. The current administration and school board plan to allow the High School team to occupy an "auxiliary gym" space for the high school season, then store the equipment in closets for the remainder of the year (currently, the Junior Tiger and community education programs bring money INTO the district, cutting these programs by not allowing them space to practice year round essentially blocks that flow of dollars into the district and puts THOUSANDS of dollars of equipment to no use. In addition, storing the gymnastics equipment will most likely require the district to build or rent additional storage space). *Also note that the wrestling and dance teams were left out of plans for their multi-season practices, while all other athletic teams will have adequate, brand-new facilities*
The Tiger Gymnastics Community is NOT asking for a state of the art facility and they are NOT wanting to uproot other athletic or academic programs. These participants just want a space that will equal what they currently have - 7000 square feet for practice which is in close proximity to a location that will be able to host home meets. At this time, the teams and their families must move all of the equipment into alternate spaces at Tech and Cathedral High Schools in order to host home meets - their current practice space does not meet MN State High School League criteria for ceiling height. Therefore, a dedicated space would be ideal, but the community would simply like the board and administration to explore other avenues for provision of appropriate space.
The gymnastics team is the single most successful athletic team in district history. The exemplary coaching staff has taught thousands of children/young women how to become responsible, productive community members. Now, please help us by supporting our efforts to keep the entire gymnastics program going - for eliminating year round practice space will also eliminate the Junior Tiger and community ed programs, essentially also eliminating the high school program in the very near future.
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