Three North Carolina schools in the same district are the first in the nation to earn Level 1 status in the School Honor Roll program recently initiated by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).
Gray’s Creek High School, John Griffin Middle School and Pine Forest Middle School – all a part of the Cumberland County Schools in Fayetteville, North Carolina – have earned Level 1 status in the NFHS School Honor Roll, a new national recognition program designed to promote professional development for high school coaches by completing specific online education courses through the NFHS Learning Center (www.NFHSLearn.com).
In earning Level 1 status, more than 90 percent of the coaches at each of the three schools completed the core course “Fundamentals of Coaching” along with three of the Learning Center’s most significant courses – “Concussion in Sports,” “Sudden Cardiac Arrest” and “Protecting Students from Abuse.”
“We want to congratulate the coaches and administration at these three schools and to the Cumberland County School District for taking this significant step in prioritizing professional development,” said Dr. Karissa Niehoff, NFHS executive director. “We applaud the superintendent of the Cumberland County Schools in making the education of high school coaches a priority in his school district. These four courses will be very beneficial for the coaches at these three schools in handling their daily tasks, and we hope this encourages other schools to follow their example.”
“I commend our coaches for taking advantage of the top-notch professional development provided through NFHS – our students are the ultimate beneficiaries,” said Dr. Marvin Connelly Jr., superintendent of the Cumberland County Schools. “We are committed to providing our coaches with professional learning opportunities and will continue to encourage them to participate in these offerings. In our school system, we are focused on providing students with equitable access to engaging learning that prepares them to be collaborative, competitive and successful in our global world. Athletics are an important part of our students’ educational experience, serving as an extension of the classroom and helping our students learn important life skills.”
Vernon Aldridge, student activities director of the Cumberland County Schools, found out about the new NFHS School Honor Roll program at the National Athletic Directors Conference sponsored by the NFHS and the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) last December in National Harbor, Maryland.
“Cumberland County Schools have always been at the forefront of coaches education in North Carolina,” Aldridge said. “Part of our strategic plan is to have premier professionals and that extends to our coaches as well. To coach in Cumberland County, we require Fundamentals of Coaching, Concussion in Sports (yearly), Sudden Cardiac Arrest, Protecting Students from Abuse, Social Media, and CPR and AED certification. It is my hope within the next few weeks all 24 of our high schools and middle schools will be Level 1 schools, and it will be our district’s goal that they will all be Level 3 schools within the next two years.”
As a physical sign of completing Level 1 certification, all three Cumberland County Schools will receive a large display banner for their school gymnasiums to commemorate their accomplishments and dedication to professional development and education-based activity programs.
Schools can earn Level 2 status (and a Level 2 banner) on the NFHS School Honor Roll when more than 90 percent of their coaches – excluding volunteer coaches – complete courses that pertain specifically to sports they coach, along with “First Aid, Health and Safety,” “Heat Illness Prevention” and “Student Mental Health and Suicide Prevention.”
A Level 3 banner will be awarded for schools that reach 90-percent completion for the “Sportsmanship,” “Strength and Conditioning,” “Teaching and Modeling Behavior,” “Engaging Effectively with Parents” and “Bullying, Hazing, and Inappropriate Behaviors” courses.
“Earning the NFHS School Honor Roll banner is a symbol that the school and its coaches are committed to providing a great experience for young people, and it’s something that everyone can be proud of within their communities,” said Dan Schuster, NFHS Director of Educational Services.
For more information on the NFHS School Honor Roll and to apply for participation in the program, please visit https://nfhslearn.com/home/administrators.