The Board of Education of Charles County at its April 17 meeting approved changes to the Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) extracurricular activities and athletics eligibility requirement policy in place for students in grades 9-12.
The changes are effective with the start of the 2018-19 school year and include updated requirements that address high school freshman first quarter participation in sports and extracurricular activities, use of a parent note as acceptable documentation of a lawful absence, and further defines extracurricular activities and lawful and unlawful absences.
Under the changes, eighth-grade students who are promoted to high school as freshman automatically meet both the grade-point average (GPA) and attendance requirement for the first quarter. Starting with the second quarter, freshman must meet the 2.25 GPA requirement with no failing “F” grades.
Students in grades 10-12 must meet the 2.25 GPA from the previous quarter and have no failing “F” grades.
The changes also address lawful and unlawful absences. Students who are absent less than five days during the previous quarter are eligible to participate in extracurricular activities and sports, without providing documentation of their absence. Students who are absent five or more days can provide documentation for a lawful absence within five days of the absence with a limit of five parent notes per marking period. This does not include a suspension; a suspension counts against eligibility.
An additional approved policy change defines extracurricular activities as an activity pursued outside of a student’s class enrollment. Examples include athletics, clubs and student government associations.
The policy changes also provide an outline of what is considered a lawful absence. Examples of a lawful absence, as defined by state law, include: illness of a student documented by a parent or medical note; court summons; death of a family member; other emergency as approved by the principal; hazardous weather conditions; work approved or sponsored by the school; observance of a religious holiday; state of emergency; and lack of authorized transportation.
Activities that do not fall under the eligibility requirements include those that are part of a credit-bearing, or graded, class. Examples include fine and performing arts, JROTC drill events and SkillsUSA.
The following are additional guidelines used to determine a student’s eligibility for each quarter:
- Students who want to participate in fall extracurricular activities or athletics must meet eligibility requirements based on their fourth quarter GPA at the end of the previous year. This does not apply to high school freshman.
- Students who want to participate in winter extracurricular activities or athletics must meet eligibility requirements based on their first quarter GPA.
- Students who want to participate in spring extracurricular activities or athletics must meet eligibility requirements based on their second quarter GPA.
- If a student receives a failing grade in any quarter, they are ineligible for the remainder of the season, for post-season play and for the following quarter.
- Students who are academically ineligible at the end of the fourth quarter cannot regain eligibility until the end of the following year’s first quarter.
- Students cannot gain or regain eligibility at interim report time or at any time during the quarter and/or season.
Charles County Public Schools provides 26,900 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 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 Patricia Vaira, 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.