league affiliation may be in works for the Pirates
Seven years ago, the Platte County R-3
School District left the KCI Conference and became the
newest member of the Midland Empire Conference (MEC).
Now, district officials are starting very
preliminary discussions about the possibility of leaving
the MEC Conference.
According to Superintendent Dr. Mark Harpst,
in his general comments to the school board last week
he mentioned there may be some interest down the
road of exploring that.
While Harpst said the change in conferences
would not happen for at least three years, R-3 could soon
be looking at different options to see what would best
suit the district.
It would be at least three years
before we would consider it, said Harpst. Theres
a two year rotation schedule that the state puts out and
it doesnt fit to change schedules until that schedule
It is put out by the state every
two years. It impacts who you schedule, when you schedule
and what conferences you are in.
According to Harpst, one of the reasons
for the possible change in conferences is the continuing
growth of the R-3 School District.
What were going to do is investigate.
As we grow, things are going to change, stated Harpst.
Were starting to become one of the bigger
schools in the MEC Conference. Were going to explore
all sorts of different options.
In 1996, the Pirates began discussions
of leaving the KCI Conference, which included such area
districts as North Platte and West Platte. Two years later
the district joined the MEC Conference.
If R-3 would choose to enter a new conference,
Harpst said they would look at schools comparable to the
size of the R-3 district in the Kansas City metropolitan
area, such as the Suburban Schools Conference.
The Suburban area would be the closest,
Harpst stated R-3 could be forced to join
a new conference at some point.
If the state would change our schedule,
we may be forced into changing conferences. There is a
possibility of that happening, said Harpst.
Harpst noted that initial consideration
of the change has not even included discussions with the
We have at least two years before
we take any official action, he said. We would
have to be invited and approved by that conference. Theres
a lot of leg work and investigation of all the opportunities
we would have for the district.
Were not unhappy at all with
our conference now. However with growth and if the state
mandates a conference schedule, we may look at a new conference.