On Tuesday afternoon, March 29Wilton High School athletic director Chris McDougal emailed a letter to WHS parents inviting their participation in a new Steering Committee. McDougal told the Board of Education in early March that forming this committee was the primary initiative he planned to implement to begin assessing and improving his troubled department, in light of complaints from some parents.

In his Tuesday email, McDougal reiterated that he was forming the Steering Committee “in response to concerns raised by members of the community about the WHS athletic program.”

“My goal is to get input from a range of stakeholders and hear a range of perspectives.” While the letter was sent to all parents, McDougal noted that he was searching for “parents of student athletes” to participate, and hoped to recruit parents with children representing a cross section of teams, sports and grades. In addition to parents of student athletes, the WHS Athletic Steering Committee will also be comprised of student athletes, coaches, teachers, and members of town athletic organizations.

Among the goals for the steering committee, McDougal writes that it will:

  • Define the department’s vision statement and core values
  • Redesign the athletic handbook
  • Review policies and procedures and establish standard operating procedures
  • Ensure high quality standards for all stakeholders

The schedule McDougal lays out in his email for putting together the committee is quick and ambitious. He hopes to have letters from any interested parents by next Monday, April 4. If a large number of parents reply, a selection committee made up of members of the Wilton High School Administration, the president of the Wilton Sports Council and a president of a booster organization would finalize the committee makeup by Tuesday, April 5. McDougal has set the steering committee’s first meeting for Thursday, April 7.