Maple Grove Senior High parents received their first communication from Principal Sara Vernig on Jan. 24 since the several players from the Maple Grove Senior High boys hockey team were reportedly been suspended from play for several games. School officials met with local media after school the same afternoon.
“The off-campus incident that was reported to school officials this week [Jan. 17] took place in mid-December,” Osseo School District School/Community Relations Director Barbara Olson wrote to Patch in an email.
Below is a copy of the letter sent to parents Jan. 24, 2013 as shared by the Osseo School District.
Dear Maple Grove Senior High families:
I want to share with you our school's plan for moving forward following the recent investigations into the behavior of some members of our hockey team.
It's important that you know we are taking this situation very seriously. Following last week's investigations and the return of students and staff on Tuesday of this week, I worked with Head Hockey Coach Gary Stefano and other staff to develop an action plan to develop leaders in all athletics and activities at Maple Grove Senior High, and to support coaches as they address the concerns identified in the hockey program, specifically. As leader of the Maple Grove Senior High hockey team, Coach Stefano will help implement our action plan.
Later today, we'll be sharing this information with media, but I want you to have it first.
This plan will be a work in progress. Changing culture will require time, and I assure you that we will take every opportunity to create learning opportunities so that we can influence future behavior.
Through the Crimson Way, we have already set clear standards for behavior, and we will continue to hold students accountable for meeting those high expectations. Yet, we clearly have more work to do. The action plan we developed this week represents the next steps in this process:
- We will organize a meeting for all coaches to discuss how to provide opportunities to develop positive leadership skills among our athletes.
- We will strengthen support for coaches and ensure that they are clear about expectations.
- Winter coaches will gather input from team captains about how to help develop leadership within all sports.
- Coach Stefano will continue to identify ways to promote positive behavior.
- We will collect anonymous survey data from students at the end of the season to assess leadership, sportsmanship and the goals of the program.
- We will work with hockey players as they develop a code of honor that team players will use to help them hold each other accountable to higher expectations.
- We will provide ongoing learning opportunities for students in the areas of character, respect, and leadership development.
At Maple Grove Senior High, we work very hard to develop and maintain culture of responsibility and respect. Through the Crimson Way, our students know what we expect of them. When students don't meet those expectations, we do two things: we hold them accountable, and we use the situation as a learning opportunity. Using the action plan described above, we are moving on to do the work that needs to be done. We know we have additional lessons to teach, and we are committed to helping students develop and live out respectful and responsible leadership.