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September 16, 2021
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Larson: students thriving in the classroom and extracurricular activities

Read Superintendent David Larson’s community columns here. These essays are published in local newspapers’ editorial/opinion pages.

We are excited about seeing our students in the classroom for the full eight-period day and engaged in extracurricular activities, and we are looking forward to a great year ahead.

Even as we adhere to county, state and national COVID-19 safety mitigations, we foster an environment where students thrive academically, discover their passion and interests and grow in their character.

Our students are collaborating, participating in labs and creating things in the classroom. We are excited about the engaging lessons and active learning happening in our classrooms.

Students are again able to participate in a variety of extracurricular activities, too. When students participate in extracurricular activities, they have greater academic success, increased self-confidence, consistent class attendance and higher academic aspirations.

Research Findings

  • In a study by the College Board, researchers found that there is a correlation between participation in extracurricular activities and higher SAT scores. The study found that participation in extracurriculars increased SAT math scores by 45 points and SAT verbal scores by 53 points.
  • Students in school-sponsored activities had higher math achievement test scores and expectations for attending college, according to a report that examined data from two national longitudinal education cohort studies from the National Center for Education Statistics.
  • Key findings of a Gallup poll show student engagement is significantly positively related to academic performance and readiness for life after high school.
  • Data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health showed strong evidence that school extracurricular activities were positively associated with adolescents’ friendships, both supporting existing friendships and developing new ones.

It’s wonderful to see student competing on the athletic fields and in the gyms and to hear their classmates and community members cheering them on from the stands. Our students also returned to the stage as in-person theatre productions are back. We are proud to offer dozens of clubs and activities at each of our schools and excited to see those groups meeting in person again. These and many more examples of students pursuing an area of interest are a critical part of a comprehensive high school experience.

Whether a student is on a sports team, a member of club or activity or a spectator at a school event, their participation strengthens their connection to school and leads to an improved learning experience.

David Larson portrait 24
Superintendent David F. Larson, Ed.D.