My children do not play team sports. No. 1 is extremely agile and athletic but does not participate in team sports due to a different range of extracurricular interests. No. 2 (Special Ed) cannot cross midline, which means No. 2 cannot throw, catch, or kick a ball with much success, even simple acts of running or skipping can be challenging and frustrating. Since sports do not weigh heavily in our middle school selection process, I decided to cover it as a separate topic.
All middle schools offer seven Division AAA team sports during the year: track (since 1925), soccer (since 1956), boys’ baseball (since 1957), boys’ basketball (since 1957), girls’ volleyball (since 1970), girls’ softball (since 1974), and girls’ basketball (since 1975). For some families, a middle school with a winning sports team might be their child’s ticket to the NBA or Olympic beach volleyball. If you are sports minded, then check out the middle school sports information, schedules, and photos of winning teams (2004-2010) at http://www.cifsf.org/middleschool.htm. The complete list of annual middle school champions by year (1925 to present) can be found at http://www.cifsf.org/Sports/MS-AnnualChampionsbyYear.pdf.
Children benefit from team sports. Judging by the size of the teams in each photo, it would appear that only a minority of students at each school site actually participates in this extracurricular activity. Even though my children do not play sports and even though a minority of students overall are served, I would never suggest that SFUSD eliminate sports programs. Never, never, ever! The recently released Urban Collaborative Report on Special Ed. Services in SFUSD noted that many school district administrators think that the money which is directed to Special Ed. students (11% of the student population) is an “encroachment" on funding that might be better spent on "more deserving or nondisabled students." This was a sad and sobering pronouncement. Adults need to be good sports and to treat everyone fairly. After all, it's what we would expect of our children on the playing field. Play Ball!