The governing body of high school athletics in Oregon will decide in the coming months if The Dalles and Hood River will continue to be members of the Class 5A Intermountain Conference.
Every four years the Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA) re-examines league alignments of the state’s 295 high schools. Enrollment is the greatest determining factor in classifying where schools are placed. Smaller schools are members of Class 1A and the largest schools are members of Class 6A; other schools fall somewhere in between. Hood River and The Dalles have been members of Class 5A, but that might change based on early proposals from a committee studying the issue.
Proposals released last month have five and six classification level proposals. In both scenarios, The Dalles will compete in Class 4A, and Hood River will compete in 5A in the six-classification scenario and 4A in the five-class proposal. The five-class proposal has The Dalles in District 5 and Hood River in District 1 (see classifications, this page).
The OSAA’s Redistricting Committee determines, among other things, if a school’s enrollment merits a change in classification. When schools move up or down in an enrollment classification, it results in changes in the makeup of leagues. The Dalles has an estimated enrollment for 2022-23 of 511; the enrollment range for Class 4A in the five-classification proposal is 401 to 899 students (for three grades). Hood River’s estimated enrollment is 883.
The committee makes recommendations to the OSAA Executive Board which has the final say in classification and redistricting decisions. The committee was scheduled to meet Monday (Oct. 11) and has other meetings scheduled Nov. 1 and 13. The committee will make its final recommendations to the executive board at its Dec. 13 meeting.
In past years, some schools, which were slated by the redistricting committee to move up or down an enrollment class, have petitioned to remain where they were. Proximity to nearby schools is one of the main reasons for schools to make such a request — so as to save on travel expenses, for example.
A new school opening is another reason the OSAA considers shuffling leagues. Central Oregon has added new high schools in Bend and Redmond in the past decade, causing shifts in high school sports leagues in that area. Those shifts also greatly affected Salem’s high schools, which were placed in a 6A league with Bend schools a few years ago. The OSAA also adjusts enrollment numbers based on socioeconomic factors. For example, schools with a greater number of students in the state’s free lunch program essentially are listed as having fewer students than actual attendance records may indicate.
The redistricting committee’s proposals released last month to the public can be viewed at: 20210913update.pdf (osaa.org) . Updates to those proposals are expected to be publicized by the OSAA this week.
6 Classification Proposal
Class 5A, District 4
Class 4A, District 2
Five Classification Proposal
Class 4A, District 1
Class 4A, District 5