By Ivan Raconteur
LESTER PRAIRIE, MN Negotiations between Lester Prairie Schools and Holy Trinity regarding a sports co-op agreement haven’t always gone smoothly, but for the next six years at least, the matter has been resolved.
Lester Prairie Superintendent Mike McNulty told the school board Monday that representatives from the schools and the community worked out an arrangement upon which both sides could agree.
The board unanimously approved the co-op agreement, which is expected to begin in July and run through 2017.
The final step will be for Fr. Tony Hesse to sign the agreement on behalf of Holy Trinity.
McNulty said both sides have agreed on the content of the agreement, and there is nothing in the document that would prevent Hesse from signing it.
McNulty also said that recent discussions have given the schools a better understanding, and they now know that a pairing and a co-op are the same thing.
Conditions of the agreement include the following:
• All LP/HT teams will play as Bulldogs and the colors will be maroon and gold. All new uniforms will be approved by the Lester Prairie activities director and administration. Holy Trinity will be included in the discussion and decision-making regarding uniforms.
• Every effort will be made to include LP/HT on any literature and special apparel.
• Volunteer workers will be used at both locations whenever possible.
• Holy Trinity students are welcome to participate in Lester Prairie’s community education program. All fees will be paid directly to community education.
• The shuttle bus will make only two runs; one to drop off at each site, and one to pick up at each site.
• Both school songs will be played at home events.
• Season passes will be honored at both sites.
• Payment for expenses, including the costs of the activities director, busing, and worker costs, will be based on percentage of student participation for the current year (sports season).
Payment by Holy Trinity to Lester Prairie is to be made no later than two weeks after receipt of invoices.
• Each school will keep revenue from concession sales.
• All revenue from gate sales and season passes will be put toward paying of expenditures, and a detailed report will be provided with billing.
• Payment for coaches’ clinics will be based on percentage of student participation from the previous year.
• Student activity fees and prices for season passes will be determined cooperatively by both schools.
• Salaries for all paid personnel who support the athletic program will be based on the negotiated master contract for Lester Prairie Schools.
• All coaches must have a background check completed prior to starting their duties.
• Coaches are responsible for ensuring athletes wear only approved uniform items for athletic events.
• Coaches are responsible for accountability of all athletic uniforms and equipment.
• Coaches are responsible for supervision of athletes at all times.
• Coaches are responsible for adhering to game, practice, and bus schedules.
• Coaches will ride the team game bus for away events unless coordinated in advance with the Lester Prairie activities director to do otherwise.
• facilities at both schools will be used. The location of games for C-level up to varsity will be based on the percentage of student participation for each level from the previous year, with the exception of football, where one home game will be played at Holy Trinity.
Locations for junior high games will be split based on availability. The activities directors will meet prior to the end of the school year to determine locations.
• All playoff games/tournaments will be based on percentage of student participation from the previous year, with the exception of football, which will be played in Lester Prairie.
• The Lester Prairie activities director is responsible for coordinating all athletic transportation requirements.
• The Lester Prairie activities director is responsible for scheduling all athletic contests, and will work with the Holy Trinity activities director to coordinate schedules.
• The Lester Prairie activities director will be responsible for finding officials for every level of competition, and will provide a list of assigned officials to Holy Trinity.
• The Lester Prairie activities director will recommend purchases of uniforms, equipment, and supplies to Lester Prairie administration. Lester Prairie School Board will approve all purchases.
• All purchases by booster clubs must follow the protocol of going to the activities director and then to Lester Prairie School Board for approval.
• Evaluation of coaching staff will be carried out by the Lester Prairie activities director, with input from the Holy Trinity activities director. Recommendations will be passed along to Lester Prairie administration and board for final action.
In all other matters related to this co-op, every effort will be made to promote cooperation between the schools.
Termination of the co-op will follow Minnesota State High School League guidelines.
Representatives from both schools expressed satisfaction with the agreement, and the opinion that the schools are doing what is best for their students.