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Cloquet School District, Queen of Peace School sign two-year athletic agreement

Queen of Peace students in grades 7-8 are eligible to compete in Cloquet Public School activities under the two-year agreement.

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The Cloquet Lumberjack logo File / Pine Journal

Queen of Peace Catholic School students in grades 7-8 will be eligible to participate in Cloquet Middle School athletics following a two-year joint agreement passed unanimously by the Cloquet School Board Nov. 22.

Discussions among school officials regarding an athletic agreement have taken place multiple times over the years, but have previously fallen through due to apprehension on the part of Cloquet Public Schools.

“Our biggest concern was having a number of different programs where kids don’t come to our schools, and then supporting them in their activities,” Superintendent Michael Cary said “We didn’t want our school to kind of be like an a la carte option for activities, but not for where you want to get your education.”

The financial element of a potential agreement was also a factor.

“The activity fee a student pays doesn’t necessarily cover the full cost of participation in some of our activities. And so oftentimes, to a small degree, we’re subsidizing those activities through the general fund,” Cary explained. “For those kids who don’t come to our school programs, we don’t get any general fund aid from the state for those kids.”

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According to Cary, the district is required in many instances to allow homeschooled students or students enrolled in online courses to participate in Cloquet Middle School extracurricular activities if they are residents of the district — opening the door for the agreement with Queen of Peace out of fairness to its students.
The private Catholic school in Cloquet serves students in preschool through eighth grade, but does not offer high school courses. Since there isn't a high school, Queen of Peace students are eligible to compete in Cloquet Public School activities now that a joint agreement has been reached, in compliance with the MSHSL Bylaw 105.00.

“A student in grades 7, 8, or 9, who attends a school under a separate administrative head and governing board; which does not have a continuation high school and where no other opportunity for participation on a high school team exists; is eligible to participate for a high school team provided the high school and the non-continuation school have established a joint agreement for participation in each League activity,” the bylaw said.

Queen of Peace students who participate in Cloquet Middle School athletics through the agreement will be required to pay the same entry fees as Cloquet Middle School students. A rough estimate for the number of Queen of Peace students who will participate was six students or less.

With many of the students at Queen of Peace enrolling at Cloquet High School upon reaching ninth grade, the opportunity for coaches to begin working with athletes they’ll see in the future was another benefit to the agreement.

“Aside from the fact that we want to open our programs to as many people as we can, I would think the coaches would like to be able to work with the kids that they’ll be working with later in high school,” Ken Scarbrough said. “So that would be a positive, too.”

The agreement can be dissolved at any point if mutually accepted by the two schools, otherwise a one-year notice must be given to the other party expressing interest in dissolving the agreement, in accordance MSHSL bylaws.

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