Edina district administration: Coach violated district policy

After an investigation, Edina school district administration have substantiated an allegation regarding Edina High School’s basketball program.

Rob Gooding of Edina alleged during an Edina School Board meeting in December that a basketball coach (who has not been identified) did not follow the district’s policy on allowing gifted students to play on varsity teams when an eighth-grader was chosen for the varsity team.

An investigation by administration found that an incorrect form was used, Superintendent Ric Dressen said during the Jan. 28 school board meeting.

“We have now corrected that form to reflect the changes made in the policy and submitted the appropriate form by the coach,” he said.

Gooding also alleged the basketball program violated two Minnesota State High School League bylaws regarding influencing or soliciting students from other schools to play on a varsity team and requiring students to attend programs and camps outside of school in order to join a varsity team. Both allegations are still open.

The district is working with the MSHSL on the allegations, Dressen said.

“And finally, as it relates to the coach the matter being handled internally, is private and personal data,” Dressen said. “At this point, we can’t divulge any details as it relates to the follow up with the coach in this situation.”

An allegation that the district doesn’t have as rigorous expectations for students of color as it does for its white students was also raised in December by Leonel Dorvil of Edina.

“We do feel this is an area we’ll be addressing in the upcoming months with our closing the gap work, where we’re doing a more rigorous job of making sure all students, including our students of color, have good access to programming, that we have programming that can help support them and accelerate their achievement,” Dressen said.

District administration is planning to give recommendations to the school board this spring regarding how to close the achievement gap in the district.

An advisory council and staff training will also help decrease the achievement gap in the district, Dressen said.


Contact Lisa Kaczke at [email protected]