Bexley News

Communication regarding athletics

Group, district striving toward better process


Bexley City School District officials and the Bexley Athletic Boosters are continuing to meet this month in an effort to iron out communication problems, but hope to have a resolution soon.

Representatives from the two groups, along with other community members and one school board member, met Oct. 1 to discuss how best to relay sports information to the community -- particularly schedules and scheduling changes.

Superintendent Mike Johnson, district Technology Director Paul Ross, and Public Information Coordinator Amy Thompson planned to meet again Tuesday, Oct. 9, to come up with a final resolution as a result of the Oct. 1 forum and likely will make a recommendation to the school board next month.

"We are still in negotiations in regards to what we're going to do," said Bryan Drewry, president of the Bexley Athletic Boosters.

He sees two likely solutions. One would be to have the district and the boosters continue to operate in conjunction with one another, with the district continuing to filter its athletic schedules and changes through the Bexley Lions website. The district also could maintain its own page, making updates and changes to the athletic schedules on its own.

"Obviously we want to work with the district," he said following the Oct. 1 meeting.

School board member Marlee Snowdon, who attended that forum, has been particularly passionate about the subject for a number of months after hearing concerns from community members.

"We just need to have consistently accurate information," she reiterated last week.

But she understands that alone is a challenge. With nearly 57 different sports at the high school and middle school levels in Bexley, along with more than 100 coaches, communicating all schedules and scheduling changes is tough, she said.

"There are so many moving parts," she said.

She also acknowledged efforts on the part of the Boosters group.

"It's so important for the district to support the Boosters because the Boosters are so supportive of the district," said Snowdon.

Currently, the district's athletic director and all of its coaches send scheduling changes through a third-party vendor, Media Flow, which operates the Bexley Boosters website and is paid for solely by the Boosters. Most of those involved said making changes and updates take time.

Johnson said he'd like to have more direct control over athletic information that goes out to the public and that can get waylaid when working through a third-party vendor.

At the Oct. 1 meeting, Ross presented the group with a prototype web page that would service the community's needs internally. While Drewry thought much of the information was the same -- only slicker -- Johnson said the site might be a solution to their communication problems if it goes live.

"We'll have direct control," said Johnson.

The district would pay for the new site as the duties would become part of Ross' territory.

Johnson was quick to add a caveat that his desire is to continue the district's good working relationship with the Boosters.

"We can't do this without them," he said. "They add a tremendous amount of value to our district."

He applauded the Boosters' financial support, program support and morale boost.

Following the Oct. 9 meeting, Johnson said the district will meet again with the Boosters in order to "close the circle" before making any final decisions.