Open Letter and Public Hearing Testimony - August: 23, 2020
To: Pittsburgh Public Schools
From:Mark@Rauterkus.com, 412-298-3432 = cell
Dear Elected School Board Members and District Administrators:
Thanks for the opportunity to lead SKWIM & Water Polo as part of PPS Summer Dreamer 2020. I affectionately called our experience, Cyber Swim Camp.
Everyone knows that the opportunities and experiences presented to our city school students and those made available to others in suburban Pittsburgh are radically different.
City kids in the city league, especially in sports, get next-to-nothing compared to that happens in the WPIAL, with rare exceptions.
Inserting a long list of shortcomings in athletics, sports opportunities, wellness pursuits we provide to our kids can be saved for another place, like my blog, Dystopia.4Rs.org.
Instead, this message today makes a one-time offer to the board and administration.
I sense that PPS has an intention of applying the brake to sports participation despite what the rest of the state does. Practices and games are off. Stop. Don’t spread.
Let’s pivot with replacement programming for sports, athletics and even physical education for the next nine week period.
- Of course: Let’s keep everyone separated.
- Of course: We should adhere to a complete socially distancing in all our activities.
- Of course: Doing NOTHING is not an option.
- Of course: This offer can’t hinge upon the existing PPS Athletic Director. The Director has to continue the extensive planning in managing the necessary re-tooling for an eventual re-opening when in-person activities resume.
- Of course, the PPS cadre of Faculty Managers need to navigate their other duties as teachers.
- Of course: Any and all of the PPS coaches, as well as the Facility Managers and Athletic Director and Administrative staff, are most welcome to engage in these stop-gap efforts according to their own desires. To what extent they choose to participate is up to those individuals.
Likewise, the same holds true for the students. Nothing should be mandatory. Life, sports and fitness are lifestyle choices.
Let’s create a PPS Board sanctioned and administration supported, ViralVirtual Varsity Club for all interested students and student-athletes, throughout the district from grades 5 to 12.
I’ll be happy to serve as the executive director for the remainder of 2020. Total compensation and start-up budget not to exceed $25,000.
We have a responsibility for today’s kids to challenge them with meaningful project-based learning experiences that centers upon sport and physical, emotional, mental and community-driven wellness.
Sports resonate with kids. Same too does technology, beyond TEAMS. We are social beings. We are a sports town.
For a few months, our efforts can be geared to creating literate Olympians here. Our kids need a community learning outreach hub that resides in cyber space. We need to teach and leverage modern tech solutions so we can build transferable skills.
Your decision. Hope to hear from you soon.