DASD School Board hears presentation on Esports

With only four of the nine board members present for the work session on April 14, member  Sam Armagost was elected as chairmen pro temp and conducted the meeting. Members who were present were Armagost., Mark Gliga, David Schwab and first term member Charlie Watt. Absent were president Larry Salone, vice president Gil Barker, Bob Wachob, Dustin Dodd, and Jeff Mattinger.

After listening to two comments from the audience, Armagost asked superintendent Wendy Benton to introduce the Director of Instructional Technology and Innovation, Nicole Hill.

Hill then gave a presentation on the ESports, which is an organized activity that uses  video gaming in a competitive setting. Hill explained that a number or area schools already have teams as well as a number of colleges and universities already have Esport teams.

Her presentation pointed out that 48 students at DAHS showed interest in a team by signing  up to get more information. In schools that have Esport teams 80% of the team members have never been in another extra-curricular activity and the team concept has led participants to have a 10% rise in attendance as well as a 1.7% increase in the grade point average. Her proposal includes purchase of enough game consoles, furniture and the designation of an area in the high school where teams would practice and compete. If the Board agrees to the total concept the price tag would be some $58,000 which would come out of federal  ESER funds.

The Esports proposal had been discussed at  two prior meetings but had been voted down at the March meeting when only four of the eight members  present voted in favor of it. Lacking the necessary five votes to pass, board members said then that they wanted to hear more about the program at a future meeting. If the board wants to revisit the proposal, it will need to pass a motion to rescind the previous vote with a majority of five votes if all members are present.

At the end of the meeting, Superintendent Benton pointed out that the DuBois Middle school has once again been designated as a “School to Watch”  which is the fifteenth years it has earned that designation. The Middle School is only one of three in the state to Pennsylvania to earn that designation that often.

The next regular meeting will be a voting meeting on April 21at the administrative center on Liberty Boulevard at 7 pm.

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