Thursday, December 07, 2000

Plan would help students remain eligible for sports

By Andrea Tortora
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        More Cincinnati Public Schools students would be able take part in sports and other extracurricular activities under a proposal requiring mandatory intervention for pupils with low grades.

        The idea, presented Wednesday at a schools committee meeting by board member Sally Warner, is a compromise among several suggestions.

        For 18 months, school board members, administrators and the community discussed how to align district and state standards for participation in athletics and extracurricular activities.

        The draft policy could be presented to the full Board of Education on Monday.

        “This does not lower our standards,” Mrs. Warner said. “It changes our exemption policy.”

        Key points:

        • New state standards mandate that any high school student participating in ath letics pass five classes and maintain a 1.0 grade-point average, or “D” average. These standards are now in effect.

        • Cincinnati Public Schools' policy requires students to maintain a 2.0 GPA to be eligible.

        • Ms. Warner's program committee proposes this:

        High school students must meet state minimums, but if their GPA is below 2.0, they must attend intervention sessions (such as study tables or homework help) at school to remain eligible to participate.

        Junior high students must pass 75 percent of their classes to participate, which is the state minimum requirement.

        Under the proposal, the only high school students unable to participate in extracurriculars and athletics would be those who do not pass five classes, do not have a 1.0 GPA, or those with a GPA below 2.0 who refuse to attend intervention sessions.

        This also means students could carry a GPA below 2.0 all four years of high school and still participate as long as they attend the remediation sessions, Ms. Warner said.

        The proposal is supported by Dave Dierker, district athletic director, and Rick Beck, Cincinnati Federation of Teachers president.

        The changes, Mr. Dierker said, would allow more students to participate while also providing additional academic help.

        Athletic directors at each high school would be charged with checking student eligibility requirements and creating the intervention sessions.


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