At the start of the 2011-12 school year, Jim Schmidt, Plano High School athletic director, began keeping track of how many students were participating in athletic programs at the school.
That first year, only 245 students were participating – 148 boys and 97 girls. But as he continued to meet with the students at the start of each school year, the numbers increased to this year’s number of 356 students. This included 202 boys and 154 girls, he said.
Schmidt said this year, 2017-18, ended with 52 percent of all students participating in at least one sport and nearly 85 percent of all students participating in activities and clubs.
He began at the start of the 2015-16 school year meeting with every high school student to get them involved in at least one activity.
“I urge them to participate in at least one sport or other school activity, whether it be a sport, music, or other club or activity during the year,” he said.
Schmidt said Plano is fortunate to have a large number of clubs and other activities for students to participate in. He has been keeping track of how many students participated and how many times these groups or events met during the year.
They ranged from five students attending the 11 photography club meetings to 48 students attending the 18 thespian meetings. And attendance was large for other events such as the fall play, which was attended by 98 students; the band, which was attended by 96 students; and the 30 sessions of the art club, which were attended by 28 students.
Schmidt noted that many students are involved in numerous events. He recalled that Jessica Davis, who graduated last year, was involved in 11 activities her senior year.
He plans to meet later with school board members to discuss the new clubs that have been suggested by students and school officials.
Schmidt said he also had been tracking the GPA of students who are participating in the district’s 14 sports over the past three years. He said the GPA of these students stayed over 3.0 and increased each year in all but one sport – wrestling, which was 2.83 last year. He noted that a couple of the 13 wrestling team members had low GPA numbers, but even they increased by year’s end.
Schmidt also reported on the school’s 2017-18 athletic highlights, listed the students who became all-conference athletes and named the Plano graduates who will be competing in sports in college next year.
Many freshmen are already involved in a sport or other activity during their first year in high school, he said. But if not, they have their choice of seven fall sports, four winter sports and four spring sports.
The list of activities includes 18 items – band, art club, chess team, SLIP (Student Leadership Initiative Program), class officers, FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes), FEA (Future Educators of America), Madrigals, National Honor Society, scholastic bowl, Operation Snowball (an anti-drug group), student council, theater, bowling club, a dance team, family focus, NHI (National Hispanic Institute), and a group that helps televise and broadcast various sports and other school activities.