BEATRICE – Beatrice Public Schools will join five other public schools in a new conference for athletics, fine arts, activities and academics, beginning with the 2020-2021 school year.
The Beatrice School Board formally voted Monday night to depart the River Cities Conference, after one more season in the organization.
Beatrice will join Ralston, Wahoo, Nebraska City, Platteview and Plattsmouth.
Ralston Public Schools was making the official announcement on behalf of the six schools that are forming the new league. Other schools’ boards were acting on the proposal, Monday night…with Wahoo scheduled to act later this month.
Beatrice Superintendent Jason Alexander says now comes the formation work.
:14 “with that”
The formal name of the conference was expected to become known, today. Beatrice School officials have said the new affiliation will better match the needs of Beatrice demographically, and offer the prospect of competitions in several areas of athletics, fine arts and academics, along with increased middle school opportunities.
:22 “as we get going”
Beatrice Activities Director Neal Randel says the majority of coaches in the school system are on board with the change. He said Beatrice has had a good relationship with the River Cities Conference and the move is no disrespect to the schools in that affiliation.
Randel says Class A schools are being reclassified by the Nebraska School Activities Association this year, touching off a lot of movement by districts on conference alignments.
:15 “a place to be”
Board member Doris Martin says she has heard some public concern over the level of competition the new conference would offer. Randel says Beatrice would still, on occasion, compete with other schools that are not a part of the new arrangement. He mentioned district and state competitions. He said the move looked at schools that were demographically similar…on a more level playing field. Beatrice Public Schools in recent years has had a flat enrollment.
The Beatrice Board of Education approved the conference switch, on a 6-0 vote, with one member absent from Monday night’s meeting.