North Shore looking into athletic tutoring policy

Athletes, parents want change in school district’s coaching policy


The North Shore School District received pushback from local families and athletes in recent weeks in the form of complaints about a policy preventing coaches from tutoring their players.
Parents of student-athletes expressed frustration with the policy, which they claim makes it difficult for the schools to attract the highest-quality coaches to the district.
The school district, for many years, had a policy preventing teachers from tutoring North Shore students for compensation, to ensure that students were not being favored or prioritized by teachers. In December 2019, the policy was extended to athletics as well. A coach working in the district could no longer coach students outside school, such as on a travel team.
That also means that coaches who already run travel teams are ineligible to coach in the North Shore district, making it harder to attract top coaching staff to the area. Additionally, many coaches make more money working with travel teams, making it more difficult to hiring them.
While the initial impact of the policy change wasn’t immediately felt, likely due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, parents and members of local athletic organizations are making their concerns heard.

Chris Wolfe, a Glen Head parent and member of the school district’s Booster Club and Athletics Advocates association, said parents are frustrated.
“There are certain sports like men’s and women’s lacrosse, for example, where every single good coach on Long Island also coaches at a travel program,” Wolfe said. “This really stopped us from being able to recruit and get good coaches here for several years.”
Conversations between the Board of Education and several community members were held over the last few weeks. The board and members of the administration discussed the topic at their last Policy Committee meeting and will discuss it at future Athletic Policy Committee meetings.
According to District Superintendent Chris Zublionis, bureaucratic issues like this unfortunately take some time to resolve. He’s committed to continuing to discuss the issue and possible remedies with parents, Booster Club members and members of the athletics administration.
“So what makes this a little different is that it’s actually codified in policy, so we have to go through the committees to address this,” Zublionis explained. “I think the more we hear from parents is great, it really brings specifics to it that helps everyone understand the situation more.”
Dave Ludmar, president of the out that while the policy was put in place for all the right reasons, he acknowledged that now that the district has been able to see it in practice, it has exposed flaws in the system.
“I think what we’ve seen now is that while I think folks understand why the policy was put in place, it does seem to have evolved into a situation which makes it harder for us to attract coaches,” Ludmar said. “So, it is going through all the proper channels to see if there is a way to amend the current policy to be able to create a situation where we can attract coaches for our sports, all of which are equally and incredibly important for our students’ wellness.”
While there is no clear timeline for this policy change, Ludmar said that the board hopes to address the issue in time for hiring spring sports coaches. In the meantime, they will continue to hold meetings with the policy and athletic policy committees while continuing to hear from district residents during the public comment section of their board meetings.