The classic fight in public schools of academics versus athletics recently took center stage in Charles County.
Charles County Public Schools has a new policy for eligibility in extracurricular activities. The new requirements take effect next school year, but students’ grades the second semester of this school year will impact their eligibility to participate in extracurricular activities in the fall of 2015. The new policy requires students to maintain a 2.25 grade point average with no failing grades to participate in any extracurricular activity. Students receiving a failing grade in any quarter are ineligible for the remainder of the season and semester. School board members will bring an amendment to the December board meeting to alter the current policy from semester to quarter. Students cannot gain eligibility at interim or by doing summer school.
The school board unanimously approved enforcing the more rigorous policy, citing a need for a more challenging academic program. Many parents disagree with the new policy because there is a chance their children may not be able to be involved in any extracurricular activity.
This could possibly be a problem to some students, especially to those who are unaware of the new policy by the second semester. Head basketball coach James Douglas said, “I don’t like the fact that your grades from the second semester can effect your eligibility for the next semester. That can be discouraging.”
However, this policy is receiving a positive response from students. Senior basketball player Devin Collins said, “If they keep us aware of the change, I feel like kids would be smarter and would take as many honors classes as possible to boost their GPA.”
Some believe this new rule can be what they need to give students the push to do their best in school and not just settle for the bare minimum. “I think people are going to rise to that standard, that’s what we need to do,” senior guidance counselor Monica Cherry said. “We’re trying to compete against people all over the world, so we have to measure up.”