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Board votes to approve updated eligibility policy

The Board of Education of Charles County voted 6-to-2 at its Aug. 9 meeting to approve an updated eligibility policy will affects students who participate in athletics and extracurricular activities.

The newly approved policy calls for students: 

  • To carry at least a 2.0 GPA from the previous quarter.
  • To have no Fs in the previous quarter.
  • To have no more than 4.5 days of unexcused absences.

Additionally, incoming freshmen will be automatically eligible throughout the first semester.

The previous eligibility policy, which was adopted in February 2014, was called “one of the “most stringent” in the state by those who opposed it. The previous policy required students to have a 2.25 GPA with no Fs.

The Board has been discussing amending the eligibility policy in recent months with arguments on both sides of the issue. Board Member Virginia McGraw said at the Aug. 9 Board meeting that she continued to be in favor of changing the policy to allow more opportunities for students and made the motion to approve the changes.

Those who voted to approve the change in the policy included McGraw, Board Chairperson Michael Lukas, Board Vice Chairperson Latina Wilson, Board Member Elizabeth Brown, Board Member David Hancock and Student Member of the Board Amira Abujuma. Board members Jennifer Abell and Tajala Battle-Lockhart opposed the motion.

Lukas said the change will usher in more opportunities for CCPS students. “I certainly don’t look at this as a lowering of standards,” he said. “But as an opportunity for students.”

The new policy language can be viewed here. The print edition of the Charles County Public Schools 2022-23 Parent Handbook/Calendar has the former eligibility policy outlined on Page 8. Hard copies of the calendar were printed before the Aug. 9 Board meeting. For the most up-to-date information, visit the online edition of the handbook/calendar here. The eligibility policy in the online calendar will be updated by 4 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 11.

About CCPS

Charles County Public Schools provides 27,000 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 37 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).