Bay Area Charter School Athletic Conference

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The challenge: Providing interschool sports opportunities to charter school students

Many charter middle and high schools are unable to join interschool sports leagues, like the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF). Either they do not have the facilities to host visiting teams, cannot maintain a full roster of sports activities, or have limited enrollment and finances.

The solution: Band together to create a sports collective

Local schools can learn from the private school world and create their own sports collective for club level play. For example, the Bay Area Charter School Athletic Conference (BACSAC), currently composed of 13 charter high schools in Oakland, Hayward and Fremont, was formed in fall 2007 to provide charter school students with the opportunities to engage in athletic competition, practice good sportsmanship, develop leadership skills and experience camaraderie with their charter school peers. In addition, the member schools viewed the ability to offer athletic programs as important for their student recruitment efforts since many students who wish to participate in competitive sports leave charters.

The result: Pooling resources and collaborating benefits students

Currently, the BACSAC offers boys' and girls' soccer and basketball, and coed cross country. A "Board of Governors" oversees the Conference, which has an adopted constitution, bylaws and sports handbook. Approximately $50K has been raised in membership fees and dues to make BACSAC self-sustaining and to hire a part-time administrative manager. Pooling resources and collaborating has resulted in a win for all the students attending BACSAC's member schools.

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