Numbers tell class of 2012’s story
New Trier takes to the field Aug. 26 for their football game against Schaumburg. An analysis of the class of 2012 showed an increase in the number of one-sport students. | Dan Luedert~Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 30, 2012 9:48AM
NORTHFIELD — With the New Trier class of 2012 officially out the door, the school board can now analyze statistics from their four-year run in district 203.
The report was the third of its kind for a New Trier graduating class, and showed great academic numbers, with some interesting trends related to extracurricular activities.
According to the presentation, shown to the New Trier school board on Nov. 19, 535 New Trier students took 1,603 AP exams and the class had an average ACT score of 27.7.
“Our non-AP curriculum and our kids who are not in AP classes are doing an incredible job in their work in school and their learning,” said assistant superintendent Paul Sally. “One measure of that is our ACT scores.”
During their time at New Trier, students in the class of 2012 had access to 158 clubs, 35 sports teams and 14 opportunities to perform on stage as part of the extracurricular program.
Last year 763 of the 1,014 members of the class of 2012 participated in one or more extracurricular experience, but those who didn’t could have participated in one during one of their three previous years at New Trier.
At least 149 students participated in at least one sport and one club, 27 participated in at least one sport and one performing art opportunity and 78 participated in at least one club and one performing art.
“The student-athlete is increasingly becoming a year-round student athlete becoming committed to a single sport,” said assistant superintendent Tim Hayes. “Our overall participation numbers continue to grow.”
Some on the board felt uneasy about seeing a growing number of single-sport students.
“I think it’s better to be cross-trained,” said board member Peter Fischer. “It’s a bothersome trend, this specialization, because I don’t think it’s good for the kids. If you specialize in one sport and don’t make it in that sport it can be crushing.”
Hayes had no direct answer as to why single-sport students is on the rise or why some students choose not to participate at all, but had some ideas.
“What I see is a lot of kids have jobs after school,” Hayes said. “Another thing is some of the outside opportunities kids are participating in are things we can’t or don’t offer at the school.”
Some examples Hayes cited included ice hockey, work through a church group or performing for a community theater.
“Kids make their own choices, but 92 percent of our student body are doing something after school,” Hayes said. “What I hear from advisers is there are kids in our school (who aren’t involved), and that is what they need. Their time and energy is spent getting to school, doing their school work and doing it well. Maybe their schedule is different the following year.”
Superintendent Linda Yonke said focus groups could be used to speak with those students, but board member John Myefski said he did not want to put pressure on the district to fill the remaining 8 percent.