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Vance Elementary School: Softball Field

February 7, 2019

 

Dear Vance Families and Asheville City Schools Community,

 

Thank you for contacting me about your concerns.

 

We are happy to make clear that the softball field improvements are to provide gender equity for girls attending Asheville City Schools now and for years to come and that these improvements are compatible with continued supervised recess and school-sponsored activities at Vance Elementary School.

 

For more than 20 years, female student-athletes enrolled with Asheville City Schools have used this ball field for softball. Thanks to a collaboration between Asheville City Schools and the City of Asheville Parks and Recreation Department, our girls will soon, for the first time, have access to ball fields for softball of equal quality to those that have for many years been provided to boys for the sport of baseball.

 

The softball field at Vance Elementary School has not received any substantial improvements since the City of Asheville renovated the facility in 1997. This improvement is intended to achieve compliance with the anti-discrimination and civil rights law Title IX.

 

Principal Hughes at Vance Elementary School is aware of this historic achievement that was made possible by securing funding and partnering with the City of Asheville Parks and Recreation Department.

 

During the September 24, 2018 Board Work Session, the Asheville City Board of Education approved Vance Elementary School’s softball field improvements to achieve compliance with Title IX.

 

A press release announcing the renovation was released on October 18, 2018.  It was shared with local media and posted to Asheville City Schools’ website and social media channels. Also, WLOS released a story about the field improvements on October 22, 2018.

 

Principal Hughes will continue to manage supervised recess and school-sponsored activities on the grounds of Vance Elementary School. Playspace will not be lost, and there will continue to be playground access. The outfield fence will have gates that will be opened during the school day for classroom use. The gates that allow access to the open green space and playground will be closed during games, on weekends and at the conclusion of each school day.

 

Vance Elementary School students and staff will continue to have first priority of the field. The Asheville High School Softball Team will have second priority, as the team utilizes it for games and practices. Per the district’s Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Asheville, the Parks and Recreation Department will have third priority, and members of the community who wish to rent the field will have fourth priority.

 

Per Board Policy 5030, any outside organization that wishes to utilize the field will need to complete a Facility Rental Agreement Form.

 

After improvements are complete, we will be promoting the enhanced facilities and celebrating this opportunity to get more girls involved in sports.

 

Thank you for your passionate support of Vance Elementary School and the safety and success of all the students in our system.

 

Sincerely,

Dr. Denise Patterson, Superintendent

Asheville City Schools