Groton Area Extracurricular Activities
Activities @
 Groton Area

Cross Country
Boys' Golf
Girls' Golf
Boys' Soccer
Girls' Soccer
Boys' Basketball
Girls' Basketball

Non-Athletic Extra-Curriculars
Oral Interp
Show Choir

Groton Area Athletics
Joe Schwan, Athletic Director

The mission of the Groton Area School District's athletic department is to create an environment that fosters student participation, supports academic excellence, and promotes physical, social, and personal development.  It is expected that all student-athletes and coaches exemplify competitive spirit, good sportsmanship, and commendable character.

The following article is an example of school success in another district and the strong link between activities and the growth of students.
Superintendent's Message: Extracurricular activities support student achievement
From John Heim, April 2009 
Release date: 2009-04-03 11:53:43

Educators have long known that a strong association exists between student involvement in extracurricular activities and improved school 
attendance, behavior and academic performance.  A recent educational journal report caught my attention. Douglas Reeves, a respected leader in improving student achievement and educational equity, highlighted the impressive academic improvements at an Illinois high school. In the past few years, the school has experienced a lower failure rate, more students taking and passing advanced placement courses, a higher graduation rate and fewer disciplinary problems. School leaders know it is difficult to identify a single cause for these improvements, but one clear trend did emerge from their analysis – the school saw a dramatic increase in student participation in extracurricular activities.

They found that students who took part in three or four extracurricular activities during the year had significantly better grades than those who participated in no activities. When the number of activities rose above four, it did not appear to improve student performance further. In his analysis, Reeves said the school’s experience suggests that when educators make a commitment to increase extracurricular participation, the entire school community benefits. In Emporia and in schools across the country, extracurricular activities provide opportunities for positive peer and adult relationships to develop. The expectations of one’s peers can be one of the strongest incentives to fulfill commitments and obligations. Students must keep their grades in good standing and keep a good attendance and behavior record in order to participate in school-sponsored events. It is important not to let their team members and fellow students down. Whether it’s a competitive team sport, an individual academic interest or community service activities, the adult leaders can influence the way young people learn to work together and channel their energies in positive ways. The Emporia schools have a history of providing a wide range of extracurricular activities to meet many interests for students.

 Opportunities are 
greatest at Emporia High School where students can choose from more than a dozen sports and nearly 30 clubs and activities. The choices range from competitive team sports to lifetime leisure sports such as golf or tennis. Activities include cultural organizations, community service and leadership groups, academic teams, debate, theater and the fine arts. These teams and organizations as well as individual student participants have experienced much success this year. The EHS wrestling team is the 5A State Champion and their assistant coach, Ryan Karjala, was named 5A Assistant Wrestling Coach of the Year. The EHS girls’ basketball team represented our community well in the 5A state tournament, and the team, coaches, cheerleaders and fans received a Sportsmanship Award from the Kansas State High School Activities Association. Successes have not been limited to sports. EHS debaters have qualified for national competition and EHS musicians were represented in the state honors choir in Wichita. EHS art students had pieces selected for the Kansas Scholastic Art Exhibit. Students are learning the value of community service through blood drives and food drives.

At Emporia Middle School, nearly half of the students were involved in fall sports and are now involved in winter or spring athletics. Two-thirds of the students also participated in after-school clubs and activities sponsored by QUEST during the first semester. Competitive athletics have been expanded at the middle school and the 8th grade boys ended the season with the school’s first perfect season. EMS teachers and administrators have put great emphasis on student involvement this year because of the positive influence activities have on academic achievement. Last fall, teachers talked with each student to encourage involvement in at least one activity this year. School administrators report a decrease in the number of students who are failing a class and fewer students are attending homework lunch because they are keeping up with their assignments.
The challenge school administrators have is that the students who could most benefit from extracurricular activities are most likely to be barred from participation because of disciplinary policies. Low grades, poor behavior decisions or cutting classes make students ineligible for extracurricular activities. Perhaps it’s time to change the rules. Reeves suggests that schools recruit more struggling students for clubs, teams and other activities and the result will be a better year for the entire school community. One thing is certain, when tough budget decisions have to be made, singling out activities and assuming that it will not affect students academic and social progress requires a second thought.

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