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Kewaskum School District reviewing possible WIAA realignment

February 19, 2022 – Kewaskum, WI – The Kewaskum School District and its athletic programs at the high school may be impacted by a WIAA realignment. Kewaskum is part of the East Central Conference for most WIAA sports. It is a member of the Eastern Wisconsin Conference for Boys Tennis and Girls Tennis and a member of the North Shore Conference for Girls Golf.

kewaskum school district, WIAA

 

According to the WIAA:

The Conference Realignment Task Force voted to advance a recommendation to create a 13-team conference by combining the East Central and South Central Conferences. The Board will review the recommendation and have the options to approve, reject or remand it for further consideration at its March 8 meeting.

The schools directly impacted are Berlin, Kettle Moraine Lutheran, Kewaskum, Plymouth, Ripon, Waupun and Winneconne from the East Central Conference and Adams-Friendship, Mauston, Nekoosa, Wautoma, Westfield and Wisconsin Dells from the South Central Conference.

Kewaskum Athletic Director Jason Piittmann released some clarification details as the school may be realigned into a new conference in 2023-24.

Click HERE for details on the WIAA realignment review

WIAA REALIGNMENT PROTOCOL: Through the WIAA, if schools want relief from their
conference (want to change conferences) they must follow WIAA realignment process and
complete paperwork substantiating the necessity of the request, gain approval from a conference to receive them, and get permission from their current conference to release them.

If this process happens without dissent the school’s request is “fast tracked” and the realignment plan goes straight to the WIAA Board of Control for a vote. If passed, it is implemented two school year’s out from the approval point. If certain schools/conferences disagree with the realignment plan then the WIAA Realignment Task Force gets involved with trying to find a solution for the betterment of all schools impacted.

1) Back in December, Berlin and Ripon completed the paperwork to leave the ECC (to go to the SCC). They would say their enrollments are declining and they don’t “fit” in the ECC anymore. They have 100% of SCC schools in favor of that move, but they have no support from the ECC. For that reason, their proposal was not fast tracked and the WIAA Task Force became involved. The Task Force formally heard the initial proposal and voted it down (1 for, 14 against).

2) In January, Berlin/Ripon appealed the Task Force’s decision, provided more/different
rationale and proposed different solutions for the other impacted schools, which was also voted down (2-14).

3) In early February, the WIAA BOC had the opportunity to deny the proposal (and it would
have effectively ended), but they remanded it (sent it back to the Task Force) to reconsider.

4) At a recent WIAA Task Force/SCC/ECC AD/Superintendent joint remand meeting all schools spoke to the matter. The proposal on the floor had only two paths (following the realignment protocol): 1) to allow Berlin/Ripon to join the SCC, making the ECC a five-team conference, (not ideal for many reasons) or; 2) to be denied, rendering the ECC unchanged. However, in-meeting, the WIAA Task Force brought up another scenario- which was not on the floor for consideration- to combine the SCC and ECC, creating a 13-school conference. All schools present, including Kewaskum, spoke strongly in opposition to this proposal.

5) The Task Force met after this meeting and passed the 13-school proposal (10-5), thus moving the matter back to the WIAA BOC for further consideration in March. Their rationale for the approval of this idea was that certain schools within the conference could collaborate on scheduling, which would provide flexibility for some schools (Berlin/Ripon) desiring relief. They also noted this would allow for other impacted schools to actively search for another conference, if desired.

 

6) This week, our leadership met with the Task Force for further clarity. As of now, nothing is a done deal. Please know that if this were to be approved (in April) it is very likely that the ECC/SCC would be merged, but only in name. This means that schools in our area (current ECC schools) would exclusively compete against each other as none of us (the SCC included) desire drive times surpassing two hours. Quite simply the new conference would be split East and West, with no crossover games involving the other division of the conference.

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS:
1) This decision is NOT final.
2) Kewaskum does NOT favor the proposal (nor does the rest of the ECC/SCC), and;
3) Our Kewaskum leadership is continuing to have discussions with the WIAA and other
impacted schools.

Sincerely,

Jason Piittmann
Athletic Director

 

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