The Glenbard School, which serves the Chicago suburbs of Glen Ellyn and Lombard, has voted to provide funding for two co-op high school girls’ swimming teams to serve their four high schools.
For the last 5 years, the two co-operative programs have been completely parent funded. One is a joint program between Glenbard North and Glenbard East, the other is a joint program between Glenbard South and Glenbard West.
These co-operative programs are not uncommon in the area’s public schools as a way to reduce costs. The teams train together under joint coaches, but compete for their individual schools.
For the last 5 years, these programs have been funded entirely by parents of the program, with estimates running as high as $1,000 per swimmer per season. Based on the success of those 5 years, the district recommended that the Board approved their funding in order to “(give) more students an opportunity to participate” and to “be more affordable for families.”
Estimates are that the first year cost of a girls’ swimming program will be $45,000-$50,000, and students will still be expected to pay a $130 athletic fee and fund-raise $150 each.
Chris Flamion is the head coach of the South/West co-op, and Chris Del Galdo is the coach of the North/East co-op. This the the second boost that these programs have gotten in the last year, as the opening of a new recreation center near Glenbard North meant a new home pool for the North/East co-op program.
Meanwhile, the boys’ programs will have to wait for district funding, though they are being considered. The district also approved funding for varsity bowling programs at the districts’ high schools, and noted several times that boys’ swimming was the only other sport seeking district funding that is “in the pipeline.”
In total, these four high schools produced 5 entries at the 2013 Illinois High School State Championship meet, all from Glenbard North and Glenbard West.
Among the best-known swimmers in the history of the distric are Connie Hsu from Glenbard South, currently on Harvard’s varsity team; and 1980’s distance swimmer Bridget Bowman, who was an Olympic hopeful in 1988.