Tuesday, October 17, 2000

High schools say forms for Title IX completed

By Lori Hayes
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        It's unlikely any Northern Kentucky student-athletes will get their jerseys jerked away because of their school's missing or incomplete paperwork.

        Most of the region's 13 schools that were cited for not turning in all or parts of a state report on gender equity in athletics have received the official nod that their reports are now complete.

        School officials say they still feel insulted by the state's threat to end the sports programs at more than one-third of Kentucky's high schools because of the incomplete reports. They

        fault the Kentucky High School Athletic Association for unclear directions and poor communication.

        This month, the athletic association cited 107 schools for not finishing a state report on their compliance with federal Title IX regulations, which requires gender equity in school activities.

        Though the report was due in June, the deadlines were moved. Schools had until today to complete the reports or lose their sports programs.

        Brigid DeVries, executive assistant commissioner with the athletic association, said forms were still coming in Monday afternoon, so she couldn't say how many the association had received so far.

        At the direction of the Kentucky Board of Education, state high schools had to complete a detailed review of their sports programs, about 60 pages outlining the schools' sports offerings for boys and girls. The athletic association plans to use the reports to audit all schools over the next few years.

        The state athletic association sent the review packets to schools in January.

        When the high-school athletic association released the list of offenders with incomplete packets on Oct. 6, several schools said they were surprised to be included; they had never been told their reports were incomplete.

        “We were quite appalled that we read about ourselves in the paper without first being notified,” said Randy Cooper, principal of Ryle High School in Union.

        KHSAA Commissioner Louis Stout has said his staff notified schools at least twice if they had incomplete reports, and those schools should have met the deadline.

        The Northern Kentucky high schools on the list are Boone County, Campbell County, Conner, Covington Latin, Dixie Heights, Highlands, Holmes, Lloyd, Ludlow, Ryle, Silver Grove, St. Henry District and Villa Madonna Academy.

        For the past week and a half, these schools have been scrambling to find out what was missing from their reports and to get the right forms to the state. Most Northern Kentucky schools were missing only one or two forms, or a signature.

        “This was nothing more than an extremely minor reporting error at best,” said Ryle's Mr. Cooper.

        Ryle had gotten back part of its report in September because the school had typed answers and stapled them to the appropriate forms instead of putting the answers on the form, Mr. Cooper said. Ryle complied and sent in the corrected forms.

        Then, last week, Ryle was told it didn't complete a form about athletic scholarships, which the school doesn't offer.

        “That's why a number of principals in the state are just beside themselves,” he said. “We take great pride in being professionals. We take great pains to do everything for the girls as we do the boys.”

        Several other schools have similar stories.

        Ludlow High School was missing a coach's signature. Highlands High School left out three pages that didn't apply to the school.

        Conner High School forgot the summary page, which told what the full report included. St. Henry District High School left out forms about campus housing, which the school doesn't have.

        Lloyd High School was fined $250 in September for not turning in a report, after being told to send only a summary packet and keep the full report at the school offices, said Jim Molley, superintendent of Erlanger-Elsmere Independent Schools.

        So the district then sent in all of the forms but still made the list of schools with incomplete reports, he said.


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