September 22, 2022
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Superintendent celebrates 50 years of Title IX

Read Superintendent David Larson’s community columns here.

Before the landmark Title IX legislation was enacted, it was common that high schools offered five or fewer girls competitive sports. Today, each Glenbard District 87 high school provides at least 14 sports for female students and multiple levels of these sports.

Title IX is the federal law passed in 1972 that protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance. We join others across the country in celebrating the 50th anniversary of this important  legislation.

Let’s take a closer look at the impact of equitable access for all students:

  • Research shows that students who are engaged in sports and activities do better in school. They also have better options after high school.
  • Several of our Profile of a Graduate competencies align with the importance of extracurriculars:
    • Students embrace diversity and create community through mutual respect.
    • Our students collaborate. They inspire and motivate others toward a common purpose.
    • Students are self-empowered. They advocate for themselves and others in a socially responsible, empathetic manner
    • Students are advocating for themselves. They are developing skills and using them outside the classroom.
  • Students’ participation in athletics and activities is a priority in D87. We have a Board of Education goal for engaging all students in opportunities outside the classroom that reflect the interests of students from diverse backgrounds.
    • The 2026-27 goal is for 80% of the district-wide student population to be engaged in a sport or activity. In 2021-22, total participation in extracurriculars was 69% district wide. We continue working to increase student participation in clubs, activities and athletics.
    • If students want to create a new school club or activity or introduce a new sport, we work hard to meet that need.
  • While many people think of Title IX as a sports law, it is an educational law. Our work focuses on academics, as well as participation in athletics and activities. For example, we have a Board of Education goal related to the number of juniors who are enrolled in Physics and Algebra 2 with Trigonometry. In 2021-22, 80 percent of our juniors were enrolled in these challenging science and math courses. In addition to preparing students for careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), we are committed to students stretching themselves by taking these high level courses. We have a legacy of setting ambitious goals for student achievement.

Benefits of Athletics and Activities
According to the Women’s Sports Foundation, before Title IX, one in 27 girls played sports. Today that number is two in five. Among the numerous benefits for all students to participate in sports and other extracurricular activities are:

  • Leadership skills
  • Improved academics
  • Improved health
  • Positive body image

Success from Athletics to Careers
Title IX’s focus on equity in education and equity in athletics changed the lives of female athletes. It’s interesting to note that there is a high correlation between women who were student-athletes and business success, and a leading factor is sports increase females’ confidence.

Equity Commitment
The heart of Title IX is its efforts to create gender equitable schools. Males and females are expected to receive fair treatment in all areas of public schooling. We do a tremendous job with this in D87. The goal of equity for all students is integrated into our practices. We are committed to our students being affirmed, treated fairly, impartially and non-judgmentally. We prioritize cultivating a culture of inclusion, belonging and high achievement for every student.

It is affirming to see celebrations of the 50th anniversary of Title IX across the country. We owe a debt of gratitude to those who championed this effort more than 50 years ago.