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Board approves updates to eligibility policy

The Board of Education of Charles County at its June 17 work session approved updates to the eligibility policy for Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) students. Board Policy 6431 guides student eligibility for both athletics and extracurricular activities for middle and high school students. Eligibility is based on student attendance and GPA but is also impacted by students receiving a failing grade.

In a vote of 6 to 2, the Board approved a policy change that provides more flexibility for students who receive an F in the fourth quarter, or last marking period of the school year. Students will now be eligible for fall athletics and extracurricular activities if they receive an F in the fourth quarter of a class but receive a final overall passing grade. Additionally, students will be permitted to regain eligibility by taking and passing a summer school make-up course in the same class (if offered) that caused them to be ineligible.

The GPA and attendance requirements do not change under the new policy. Students must still earn a 2.0 GPA, must have no failing grades for Quarters 1-3 and must be absent fewer than five days from the previous quarter. Suspensions count against a student’s eligibility.

The eligibility requirements for students are as follows. 

Rising freshmen/Grade 9

  • Students who are promoted from Grade 8 to Grade 9 automatically meet the GPA and attendance requirements for the first semester of their freshman year.
    • Absences count against eligibility for these students starting with the third quarter. Students who are absent fewer than five days from the previous quarter (second quarter) remain eligible without absence documentation.
    • Students who are absent five or more days can provide documentation of a lawful absence within five days of the absence and are limited to five parent notes.

Repeat freshmen and Grades 10-12

  • Students must meet promotion standards.
  • Students must have earned a 2.0 GPA from the previous quarter with no Fs for quarters 1-3.
  • Students must have earned a final 2.0 GPA with no final failing F grades for any yearlong or semester course from the previous school year.
    • A student can earn an F for the fourth quarter but are eligible if they receive a final passing grade.
  • Absences count toward eligibility.
    • Students who are absent fewer than five days the previous quarter remain eligible without documentation.
    • Students who are absent five or more days can provide documentation of a lawful absence within five days of the absence with a limit of five parent notes.

State regulations define lawful absences as: a student illness documented by a parent note; work approved or sponsored by the school; court summons; death of a family member; other emergency as approved by the principal; hazardous weather conditions; observance of a religious holiday; state of emergency; or lack of authorized transportation.

The policy also outlines eligibility for each quarter.

  • Except for students promoted from eighth grade to ninth grade, students who wish to participate in fall extracurricular and/or athletic activities will need to meet eligibility requirements based on their final GPA at the end of the previous year. 
     
  • Except for students promoted from eighth grade to ninth grade, students who wish to participate in winter extracurricular and/or athletic activities will need to meet eligibility requirements based on their first quarter GPA.
     
  • Students who wish to participate in spring extracurricular and or athletic activities will need to meet eligibility requirements based on their second quarter GPA.
     
  • Except for students promoted from eighth grade to ninth grade in their first semester, if a student receives a failing grade in Quarters 1,2 or 3, they are ineligible for the remainder of the season, for post-season play and for the following quarter. 
     
  • Students academically ineligible at the end of the school year due to a failing grade may regain eligibility by attending and passing any/all summer school class(es) that caused the student to be ineligible, if said class(es) are offered in summer school. Students may regain eligibility only by taking the same summer school class to improve a failing grade or the corresponding equivalent that meets graduation requirements. GPA requirements will be recalculated after the completion of summer school.    
     
  • Summer school classes taken for original credit do not count toward or against eligibility.
     
  • Students cannot gain or regain eligibility at interim or at any time during the quarter and/or season. 

About CCPS

Charles County Public Schools provides 27,765 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 38 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Kathy Kiessling, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Nikial M. Majors, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (employees/ adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event.

CCPS provides nondiscriminatory equal access to school facilities in accordance with its Use of Facilities rules to designated youth groups (including, but not limited to, the Boy Scouts).