UCSD discusses co-op program

The message from the Union County School Board and administration to parents was simple: for everyone to start looking at the district as a whole and not each individual school. That is what Union County Superintendent Ken  Basil said to the crowd gathered at Ingomar Monday night to discuss the county’s co-op programs of band and football.

The hour-long session included talks by Basil, band consultant Robert Plunkett and a question and answer session, giving parents of the students the opportunity to hear first hand from officials about future plans of the program.

Among the topics discussed were organizing both band and football boosters, which Basil recommended parents of each school meet to have representatives from each to make-up a district-wide booster club.

Also discussed was the future of consolidating the schools, which Basil stressed would not happen with the current administration.

“I’m a graduate of Myrtle High School, and I know how everyone feels about their schools,” Basil said. “We’re trying to put consolidation off as long as we can, but it’s coming. Not by this superintendent, and not by this board, but it’s coming.”

With the recent budget cuts by Governor Haley Barber amounting in $599,000, the main question of concern was the money to operate these programs, which is where booster clubs would come in handy.

“I don’t know of any band program in the state of, and that goes all the way up to the largest in 6A, that do not have some kind of band booster program,” Pluckett explained. “The time will come when the groups are together where they will need the percussion instruments and tubas and uniforms, and that’s where the boosters will come in.”

Also discussed was the football schedule, which Basil explained the team has to play similar teams now before jumping to bigger opponents. Plans are to have a set schedule for next year pending more budget cuts, which could hurt the overall project.

“We need to stick to playing teams like ourselves, because it’s also a safety issue for our kids, “ Basil said.

For now, the team will continue practicing at both the New Albany Sportsplex and Union County Fairgrounds, and will face off in their inaugural game versus H.W. Byers this week.