The rules and regulations of the district and state associations shall be in effect for all events in which students participate, representing the district, during or after school hours, either on District premises or off District premises for events considered District sponsored or District approved activities. This policy includes athletics, speech, drama, music, academic competitions, FFA competitions, FCCLA activities, cheerleading, dance, homecoming royalty and other royalty, speaker at graduation, and other school-related events, competitive conference activities or performing or participating in any activity as a representative of the district.
Penalties for violations after school hours or at designated places for events will be the same as during regularly scheduled school hours or on District premises except where a special discipline policy has been specified. This includes particular rules and regulations established by the Department of Education, director of the activity, special temporary restrictions imposed on the students prior to the scheduled event, and any other mandates determined by the administration.
Additionally, the executive Boards of the Iowa High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) and the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union (IGHSAU) may sanction member and associate member schools that permit or allow participation in any event by a person in violation of the eligibility rules or by a student who has been suspended from school and/or District activities in accordance with local rules.
General Co-curricular Activities Policies
1. Students who participate in the above co-curricular activity programs are subject to the rules and policies governing activity eligibility participation and the training and conduct rules set down by the coach or sponsor, twenty-four hours per day, year round. Students may be declared ineligible from activity participation by the athletic director, principal or the superintendent/designee for violation of any of these rules and policies.
2. The principal/designee shall be responsible for informing coaches/sponsors of which students are not eligible for participation.
3. A student with an unexcused absence during any part of the school day or who was not present the last half of the school day will not be eligible for activity participation on the day of the absence, unless approved by the principal/designee.
4. A student will not be penalized for non-participation (practice or contests) during regularly scheduled vacation periods, if that student is excused from these by his/her parent or guardian. Communication between the parent/guardian, athletic director, and coach is required prior to a participant’s absence that will occur during a scheduled vacation period.
5. A student may not be dropped from practice or competition during the season or during tournament play unless he/she has violated the districts or coach’s good conduct rules or the Department of Education eligibility rules. In the event that a student is to be removed for this cause, the athletic director/principal will be notified and will be a part of the decision and the appropriate action. The parent/guardian shall be notified of the action taken.
6. If a student drops one activity for good cause during the season, he/she will not be penalized for participation in any succeeding activity for which he/she is ineligible for the same good cause offense.
7. Athletic directors, coaches, and sponsors have the prerogative to establish reasonable training and conduct rules, when not in conflict with District policy and regulations, for a particular co-curricular activity or competition, all of which must be followed by the participants, including but not limited to, the special rules below. Those rules shall be sent to the students' parents/guardians before the activity commences.
Department of Education Co-curricular Activities Policies
A. Eligibility Rules
1. Eligibility may be compromised if any of the following are true:
a. The student do not have a physician's certificate of fitness issued this school year.
b. The student has attended high school for more than eight (8) semesters (twenty days of attendance or playing in one contest constitutes a semester). Middle school students who have completed more than four (4) semesters in 7th or 8th grade may not be eligible to participate in middle school activities.
c. The student was not enrolled in high school last semester or if the student entered school this semester later than the second week of school and were not enrolled in school immediately prior to enrolling at the high school. (Not applicable to the middle school.)
d. The student has changed schools this semester, except upon like change of residence of the student’s parents/guardians. (Not applicable to the middle school.)
e. The student has been declared ineligible under a prior District’s Good Conduct Rule, and then, without having completed the full period of ineligibility at that school, transfer to the high school. The student may not be eligible for interscholastic competition at the high school until the full period of ineligibility has been completed. Once that time period of ineligibility has been completed, the student is then immediately eligible for interscholastic competition at the high school as far as any Good Conduct Rule is concerned.
f. The student has competed on an outside school team as a team member or as an individual while out for a sport during that particular sport season without the previous written consent of the current coach, athletic director, and parent/guardian with the exception of dance.
g. The student has have ever trained with a college squad or has participated in a college event.
h. The student’s habits and conduct both in and out of school are such as to make his/her unworthy to represent the ideals, principles, and standards of your school.
B. Scholarship Rules for Athletics
1. Application of Scholarship Rules
a. Scholarship Rules apply to all member and associate member schools that belong to the IHSAA and the IGHSAU. Schools may not allow ineligible or suspended students to participate. The IHSAA and the IGHSAU have the power to impose sanctions upon schools that do not enforce Scholarship rules.
b. In addition, Scholarship Rules apply to all students who are members of any recognized District Activity.
a. All students must be enrolled and in good standing in a school that is a member or associate member in good standing of the organization sponsoring the event. Each student shall be passing all coursework for which credit is given and shall be making adequate progress toward graduation requirements at the end of the first quarter, second quarter, first semester, third quarter, fourth quarter, and second semester.
b. All students must be under twenty (20) years of age.
c. All students shall be enrolled students of the district in good standing. The student shall receive credit in at least four subjects, each of one period or hour, or the equivalent thereof. They shall receive credit in all courses for which a letter grade is given. Grades will be checked at the end of each grading period as defined in (a) above.
i. Coursework taken under postsecondary enrollment options, for which a District or accredited nonpublic school grants academic credit toward high school graduation, shall be used in determining eligibility.
ii. Dual credit courses from community colleges will count toward the four-credit class requirement, and failure of such courses will result in violation of eligibility standards.
d. A student who has had four or more successful non-failing (no “F”s) grading periods (quarters) after the grading period in which the student did not pass all coursework is eligible.
e. If a student does not meet the Eligibility Standard, then s/he will not be allowed to represent the school for thirty (30) consecutive calendar days in all co-curricular activities and competitions as defined in paragraph (a) of this policy. S/he is ineligible to dress for and compete in the next athletic contests and competitions in which the athlete is a contestant for thirty (30) consecutive calendar days. The thirty (30) Day Rule applies to all levels of high school athletics, and not just varsity competition. The thirty (30) consecutive calendar days of ineligibility begin on the earliest date when the IGHSAU or the IHSAA allows games to begin for each sport. If the sport is in mid-season, then the period of ineligibility begins at 3:40 P.M. the afternoon of the 3rd weekday following the end of the grading period.
f. If at the time the student has a failure, and he/she is out for a sport and the season ends before the thirty (30) days are served, the days carry over to the next sport he/she participates in.
g. Subject to the provision below regarding contestants in interscholastic baseball or softball, if at the end of any grading period a contestant is given a failing grade in any course for which credit is awarded, the contestant is ineligible to dress for and compete in the next occurring interscholastic athletic contests and competitions in which the participant is a contestant for thirty (30) consecutive calendar days. The thirty (30) calendar days begin at 3:40 the afternoon of the third (3rd) weekday following the end of the grading period.
h. At the end of a grading period that is the final grading period in a school year, a contestant, in interscholastic baseball or softball who receives a failing grade in any course for which credit is awarded, is ineligible to dress for and compete in interscholastic baseball or softball for the thirty (30) consecutive calendar days. The thirty (30) calendar days begin at 3:40 the afternoon of the third (3rd) weekday following the end of the grading period. If the season expires prior to thirty (30) consecutive calendar days elapsing, the period of ineligibility will carry over to the beginning of the next sport in which the student participates.
i. A student with a disability who has an Individualized Education Program shall not be denied eligibility on the basis of scholarship if the student is making adequate progress, as determined by school officials, towards the goals and objectives on the student’s Individualized Educational Program.
j. All member schools shall provide appropriate interventions and necessary academic supports for students who fail or who are at risk to fail, and shall report to the department regarding those interventions on the comprehensive school improvement plan (CSIP).
k. An incomplete (I) will be considered a failure. At the time the incomplete (I) becomes a passing grade, eligibility will be reinstated.
l. A student is academically eligible upon entering the ninth grade.
m. No student shall be eligible to participate in any given interscholastic athletic sport if the student has engaged in that sport professionally.
n. The superintendent or Superintendent’s designee, with the approval of the board, may give permission to a dropout student to participate in athletics upon return to school if the student is otherwise eligible under these rules.
C. After-Hours, Off-Premises Special Rules
1. Application- The following rules cover students in grades 5-12. These after hours, off-premises special rules will be printed in the Student Handbook given to each student in grades 5-12 when school opens in the fall. A Student Handbook will also be issued to each new student who registers after the school year begins.
2. General Rule- The board, the administration, and other employees of the district, have no control or responsibility for any student when the student is in the custody and control of his/her parents, guardian, or other non-school related agency except as explained below.
3. Exceptional Rules- The board and administration have determined the following specific policies as exceptions to the immediately preceding paragraph:
a. Training and Conduct Rules- The sponsors and coaches must establish reasonable training and conduct rules for the activities for which they have been given responsibility. These rules must be approved by the principal or athletic director. They must be distributed to each participant before the activity commences. A student who registers late will receive the rules when he/she starts. Violation of any of these training and conduct rules may be cause for eliminating a student from the activity or restricting participation.
b. Participation in Criminal or Unlawful Activity- Students who represent the district in extra-curricular activities are expected to characterize high standards of conduct. Students who participate in any conduct which, in Iowa, is illegal, whether or not an arrest or conviction occurs, except simple misdemeanor traffic violation may be suspended from activity participation if an investigation by District officials determines the student has committed a violation of the rules. Students may be penalized in the manner described in the following section on alcohol and controlled substances. Upon each offense of criminal or otherwise unlawful activity, the student shall be referred to the administration team.
c. Alcohol, Tobacco and Controlled Substances- Involvement with alcohol, tobacco, and/or other illegal substances classified as controlled substances is deemed a most serious offense. The board and administration will impose severe penalties when it has been determined a participant has been involved in the use, sale, distribution or possession of the same. Severe penalties will also be imposed on those who inhabit an environment or are in attendance where an illegal act(s) related to alcohol and/or controlled substances occur(s), including, but not limited to these:
(i) alcohol being possessed, distributed or consumed by people not of legal age to do so and
(ii) possession, sale, distribution or consumption of illegal substances.
Since rules for participation in activities carry over outside of school hours and school-sponsored events, parents and concerned agencies must cooperate with the school in eliminating alcohol, tobacco, and controlled substance use and abuse.
4. Penalties – When it has been determined that a student has violated the rules regarding (b) or (c) in sub-section (3) above, the student shall be penalized as follows:
a. Repeat offenses shall be calculated by counting backward from the date of the current violation.
b. First Offense: Three-week (21 calendar days) suspension from scheduled cocurricular competition or performance. This three week suspension will be shortened to two weeks (14 calendar days) if the student reports the incident to a coach, sponsor, activities/athletic director, or principal prior to their awareness of the incident.
c. Second Offense: Seven weeks (49 calendar days) suspension from all cocurricular competition or performance. A student suspended for a second time under this policy will be eligible to participate in cocurricular activities and competition after six weeks (42 days) if he/she reports the incident to a coach, sponsor, activities/athletic director, or principal prior to their awareness of it.
d. Third Offense: A minimum of fifteen (15) weeks (105 calendar days) suspension from participation in all co-curricular competition and performance.
e. The suspensions described above will commence at the time the student makes a District coach, sponsor, athletic director or principal aware of the infraction or at the time an investigation by the athletic director or the principal determines by the finding of fact that the student has violated this policy. Prior to making a determination that there has been a violation, the athletic director or the principal shall (i) be informed of the allegations and (ii) perform an investigation; and the student shall (i) be notified, orally or in writing, of the allegations against the student and the basis of the allegations and (ii) be given an opportunity to respond to the allegations.
f. The athletic director or the principal may determine that there has been a violation whether or not criminal charges have been filed, whether a student's trial is pending or whether or not the student is found guilty by a court of law as long as there is reasonable evidence to support the finding of a violation.
5. Appeal –
- A student may contest a determination of a violation and/or the penalty imposed for a violation of these rules. All appeal hearings shall be informal and a student must be accompanied by his/her parent(s) or guardian(s).
- The decision by the activities director regarding a violation may be appealed to the principal. The appeal to the principal shall be in writing and delivered to the principal’s secretary within five (5) school days of receipt of the athletic director’s decision. The appeal to the principal shall specify the reasons for the appeal and all supporting information and facts. The principal shall review the results of the investigation conducted by the athletic director and the student’s objections within five (5) school days of receipt of the written request for appeal. The principal shall provide a written decision to the activities director, the student and/or the student’s parents within five (5) days of considering the appeal.
- When student behavior results in a first offense of the Good Conduct Code, the principal’s decision will be final and no further appeal will be allowed.
- When student behavior results in a second violation of the Good Conduct Code, the decision of the principal may be appealed to the superintendent. The appeal to the superintendent shall be in writing and delivered to the superintendent or the superintendent’s secretary within five (5) school days of receipt of the principal’s decision. The appeal to the superintendent shall specify the reasons for the appeal and all supporting information and facts. The superintendent shall review the results of the investigation conducted by the principal and the student’s objections within five (5) school days of receipt of the written request for appeal. The superintendent shall provide a written decision to the principal, the student and/or the student’s parents within five (5) days of considering the appeal.
- When student behavior results in a second offense of the Good Conduct Code, the superintendent’s decision will be final and no further appeal will be allowed.
- When student behavior results in a third or fourth violation of the Good Conduct Code, the decision of the superintendent may be appealed to the board of Education or a committee appointed by the board. The appeal to the board or Board committee shall be in writing and delivered to the board secretary within five (5) school days of receipt of the superintendent’s decision. The appeal to the board or Board committee shall specify the reasons for the appeal and all supporting information and facts. The decision of whether the appeal will be heard by the board or a committee of the board will be made at the sole discretion of the board. The committee of the board shall be comprised of three board members appointed by the board. A hearing then shall be held as soon as reasonably practical before the board or the committee. The decision of the board or the committee shall be final. During the appeal process, the student shall remain ineligible pending a decision of the student’s appeal, unless otherwise directed by the superintendent or Board.
- A student may be represented by legal counsel in any hearing before the district’s Board of Educaiton or a committee appointed by the board.
D. Scheduling of Events
1. The board and administration realize that the amount of participation in co-curricular activities does limit the amount of time a student may spend on academic preparation and progress. Therefore, the following are considered as appropriate limitations:
a. Scheduled contests will conform at all times to the state association rulings and adhere to recommendations made by these agencies.
b. The activities and/or athletic director will be responsible for the scheduling of all high school activities and the athletic director will be responsible for scheduling athletic events at the middle school. All schedules must be approved by the middle or high school principal.
Reviewed: FY 2015-2016, March 14, 2016