Re: Independent Teams?
4944 is a community team made up of 5 local high schools. There are many advantages to this such as freedom from schools and school guidelines/policies.
We gain our meeting space from a local business incubator (Grand Junction Business Incubator). However, this was our fourth year meeting there and our fourth meeting space in the incubator as someone has decided to rent the space we were in and we've been moved to a difference space four summers in a row. The disadvantage of this is if they run out of spaces to put us in because all of their spaces are rented out, we could get kicked out with little notice and have nowhere to go. Although, being in the business incubator is awesome as we get to interact with many different businesses and the incubator has different facilities we can use in addition to our space (meeting spaces). They also send out press releases to our entire area for us for free!
Our team had 5 founding mentors, 1 of whom remain (engineers who had to leave because of their jobs). Many of our mentors are parents that only mentor for the years the kids are on the team. We hope that as we grow alumni will stay and mentor.
The issue with our school district is that we are the 3rd least funded school district out of 178 districts in Colorado. Even if we raised all of our money, the odds that our district would allow our team to exist is very low.