WESTMINSTER -- The Bellows Falls Union High School Board voted at a special meeting Wednesday to enter into an agreement that will allow two Compass School students to play basketball for the Terriers.
The school board approved a member-to-member agreement for what BFUHS Principal Chris Hodsden said is at least the second-consecutive year. The vote permits two students at Compass School, which caters to children in grades 7 through 12 and has no basketball program, to wear the Purple and White this season. Compass School, an independent nonprofit, is a short walk from BFUHS.
Hodsden told the Reformer the agreement is great for both schools because it gives BFUHS some more players and allows youngsters from Compass to be physically active. He said the agreement will not come with any additional costs to the BFUHS Athletic Department.
"The place where it can become a challenge, but it never has been for us, is when there is a school that’s interested in joining us Š but it drives your numbers up for a particular team or a particular sport in a way where it’s difficult to manage," he said in the BFUHS library after the vote. "Of the two (students), I know one will be on varsity, one will be on (junior varsity). Even if you have strong numbers at the beginning of a season, which we really do, with things like injuries or eligibility or folks just deciding to give up, the numbers never go higher - they will always go lower. So this is a good thing for everyone involved."
Hodsden said his school has entered into similar agreements with Compass School for field hockey and soccer in the fall for the past few years. There was also an agreement between BFUHS and Vermont Academy that allowed students at the prestigious boarding school in Saxtons River to play football for the Terriers.
Rick Gordon, the director of the Compass School, told the Reformer the partnership has since September 2012 allowed BFUHS students to take part in his school’s afternoon exploratories, which are held three days a week, thanks to funding from the Vermont Community Foundation. He said the after-school courses, ranging from fencing to archery to photography, are similar to clubs and help young people develop practical skills and make friends.
Gordon also said the member-to-member agreement has been helpful with BFUHS’ boys soccer team because the school is very football-oriented and draws a lot of males. He said the agreements are a great way to keep students active and healthy.
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