Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

December 11, 2012

Board approves shooting club

Steve Woodhouse
Journal-Express

Knoxville — The Knoxville Shooting Sports Club will become a reality, after action taken by the School Board Monday night. 

A group of parents and students, led by Andy Shives, had made the request to the board at a prior meeting. Grants are available from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to cover costs of forming a shooting club. What Shives and his supporters sought was sanction from the board to be an official school organization, one in which students would be eligible to earn letters as they do in other sports. 

The board's discussion centered around whether or not to classify the shooting group as a "club" or a "team." In the end, the board chose to allow the group to be created as a "club." Most were concerned that the bodies governing school athletic events in the state, the Iowa High School Athletic Association and the Iowa High School Girls Athletic Union, do not recognize shooting as a high school sport. 

Superintendent Randy Flack advised the board against sanctioning the group as a club for a number of reasons. Among them were the fact that the shooting club involves firearms and the district's insurance carrier advised against it. 

Any time the club goes to an event, in which they are going to represent Knoxville, the firearms will travel in separate vehicle and not on the bus with the students. 

In other board action, Northstar Elementary Principal John Keitges provided a presentation in regard to how the school plans to overcome its School In Need of Assistance designation. It will take at least two years for Northstar to get off of this list. To be removed from the list, the students must receive high percentile rankings in Math and Reading in the Iowa Assessment tests. Those tests will be administered in February 2013. Keitges said he is going to try to get the community involved to raise the excitement and awareness of the tests, in the hopes that will further inspire the students to do their best.

Look for more on the school board in the Dec. 14 Journal-Express.