510 – Co-Curricular Activities – Eligibility Code

510.1 Purpose. The purpose of the Eligibility Code is to establish and provide for the enforcement of academic standards and standards of conduct for students participating in co-curricular activities in grades 6 through 12 of the Urbandale Community School District. Underlying this purpose is the premise that participation in co-curricular activities is a privilege to be earned not only by demonstrating a particular talent or ability but also by demonstrating exemplary conduct.

510.2 Academic Eligibility. Students in grades 9-12 participating in interscholastic athletic competition shall be subject to the Iowa Department of Education rules regarding academic eligibility. Students in grades 9-12 participating in interscholastic speech competition shall be subject to the Iowa High School Speech Association (IHSSA) rules regarding academic eligibility. Students in grades 9-12 participating in interscholastic music competition shall be subject to the Iowa High School Music Association (IHSMA) rules regarding academic eligibility.

The Department of Education, the IHSSA and the IHSMA rules require participants to be earning at least four credits at all times. Courses taken under the post-secondary enrollment option are included. However, students enrolled in Urbandale High School are required to be enrolled in courses or a learning center for at least seven periods of each eight period day. Therefore, a student who is not enrolled in a course or in a learning center for the required minimum number of periods each day (except students on a shortened academic day for reasons approved by the District) shall not be eligible to participate in interscholastic athletic competition, interscholastic speech competition, interscholastic music competition, or public performances of cheerleading, dance, music or drama. If the public performance is required for a grade, the student shall be assigned an alternative activity in lieu of the public performance.

The Department of Education and IHSSA and IHSMA rules require that participants have passing grades in all courses taken for credit (including physical education and any other reduced credit class) as of the last grading period. The grading period does not include mid-term grades, but means when the student receives a final grade and course credit. Students may not take summer school course work to regain academic eligibility following a failing grade second semester. A ninth grade student is immediately academically eligible upon entering ninth grade even if the student had a failing grade the last semester of eighth grade. A student with a disability who has an IEP shall not be denied academic eligibility if the student is determined by the principal or the principal’s designee to be making adequate progress towards the goals and objectives on the student’s IEP.

The Department of Education rules require that a student who does not pass all courses taken for credit must serve a period of ineligibility for thirty (30) consecutive calendar days in the next occurring interscholastic athletic contests and competitions in which the student is a contestant. If the sport season ends prior to the completion of the 30 calendar days, the period of ineligibility will extend to the next sport season in which the student is a contestant. The student may not dress for or compete in any interscholastic athletic contests during the period of ineligibility. In addition, the Urbandale Community School District requires the student to continue to attend practices and otherwise participate unless medically unable to do so, or the period of ineligibility will be carried over to the next sport in which the student is a contestant. The IHSSA and IHSMA rules require that a student who does not pass all courses taken for credit must serve a period of ineligibility in speech and music interscholastic competition for thirty (30) school days immediately following the issuance of grades. If the IHSSA and/or IHSMA change their rules modifying the period of ineligibility, the Urbandale District will enforce the modified period of ineligibility but all additional requirements of the Urbandale District shall continue to apply, such as the requirement to be enrolled in a required number of periods per day.

In addition to Department of Education, IHSSA, and IHSMA academic eligibility rules, the Urbandale Community School District shall impose periods of academic ineligibility to follow immediately upon issuance of semester grades as follows:

a. Students in grades 9-12 participating in cheerleading or dance who receive a failing grade shall be academically ineligible for cheerleading and dance for thirty (30) calendar days immediately following issuance of the grades.  The period of ineligibility will begin with the first school day following the day grades are issued by the school district.

b. Students in grades 9-12 participating in music or drama public performances that are not considered interscholastic competitions who receive a failing grade shall be academically ineligible for music and drama public performances for thirty (30) calendar days immediately following issuance of the grades. The student will be required to complete an alternative activity if the public performance constitutes part of the grade for a course.  The period of ineligibility will begin with the first school day following the day grades are issued by the school district.

c. Students in grades 9-12 who did not earn at least four (4) credits shall be academically ineligible to participate in all interscholastic athletics, speech and music competitions and shall be ineligible to publicly perform in any cheerleading, dance, music or drama performance for the entire next semester. This shall be in addition to any period of academic ineligibility the student may serve as a result of State, IHSSA or IHSMA rules.

The Urbandale Community School District will implement the academic eligibility rules of the Department of Education, of the Iowa High School Speech Association, of the Iowa High School Music Association, and of its additional local rules in accordance with the following:

a. Grades of a “D-” or better and of “W” (withdrawn in a timely fashion) are passing grades. Grades of “F” and of “WF” (withdrawn, failing) are failing grades.

b. A student who receives an “I” (incomplete) who then completes work in a timely fashion to obtain a passing course grade shall continue to be academically eligible, including during the period of time the student has to obtain the passing grade following the grading period. A student who does not timely complete the work to obtain a passing grade and receives a failing grade shall be subject to the academic ineligibility rules.

The superintendent may give permission to a student returning after dropping out of school to participate if the student is otherwise academically eligible under the rules. 510.3 Standards of Conduct. Any student whose conduct, either in or out of school, is such as to make him or her unworthy to represent the ideals, principles and standards of the Urbandale Community School District shall be declared ineligible to participate in co-curricular activities by the administration. It shall be the responsibility of all persons enrolled as students in grades 6 through 12 of the Urbandale Community School District to obey governmental laws and ordinances, to obey all policies, rules and regulations of the Urbandale Community School District, including rules and regulations for the particular activity in which the student is participating, and to conduct themselves in a manner that will reflect credit to themselves, their school, and their community.

It shall be a violation of the Eligibility Code for any student to commit any of the following acts even though the violation has occurred out of season or outside of the school year:

a. The commission of a crime under any governmental law or ordinance except laws and ordinances regulating the use of motor vehicles under which a violation is classified as a simple misdemeanor. A determination that a student has violated the Eligibility Code by the commission of a crime may be made without regard to whether the student is prosecuted or convicted of such crime by other authorities.

b. The use, consumption, possession or distribution of alcoholic liquor, wine, beer or of any controlled substance as defined in Chapter 124 of the Code of Iowa or of “look-alike” substances. Presence at a function or in a location where such substances are possessed or consumed illegally by minors shall also be a violation of this Eligibility Code even if the student does not possess or consume the substance.

c. Repeated violations or serious violations of any written policy, rule or regulation approved by the Board of Directors.

510.4 Administrative Determination. If the administration determines it advisable (such as upon receipt of a police report), the administration shall conduct an investigation into allegations of violations under 510.3 of the Eligibility Code. Such investigation shall not be limited by any formal rules of evidence or procedure (for example, police reports may be utilized even if not admissible in a court of law). The student shall be told orally and/or in writing of the charges against the student. If the student denies the charges, the student shall be given an opportunity to explain his/her side of the story and shall be given an explanation of the evidence against the student. If the administrator finds it advisable, the student may be allowed to confront witnesses against the student and/or call witnesses on behalf of the student; however the administrator shall not be obligated to compel persons to give statements. There need be no delay between the time of notice of the charges and the student’s opportunity to respond.

Written notice of a determination that a student has violated the Eligibility Code shall be mailed or delivered to the student’s parent or guardian which shall contain a statement of the disciplinary sanction to be imposed.

510.5 Sanctions. The determination of ineligibility and the duration of ineligibility under 510.3 shall be the responsibility of the administration. The administration may establish guidelines for the duration of ineligibility as long as the duration does not exceed the maximum periods of ineligibility of this policy. The maximum period of ineligibility for a first offense shall be six (6) weeks. The maximum period of ineligibility for a second offense that occurs within one calendar year of the first offense shall be twelve (12) weeks. The maximum period of ineligibility for subsequent offenses that occur within one calendar year of the first offense shall be one (1) calendar year. When imposing sanctions for violations under 510.3, the administration shall consider whether the student was actually possessing or consuming alcoholic liquor, wine, beer, a controlled substance or “look alike” substance. The period of ineligibility shall run only during those weeks in which interscholastic competition takes place. The student shall generally be required to practice during a period of ineligibility, but shall not be allowed to dress for or to compete in any interscholastic competition.

A student who has been declared ineligible for participation in co-curricular activities by another school district who then enrolls in the Urbandale Community School District shall be ineligible for participation in co-curricular activities in the Urbandale District for the balance of the period of ineligibility as if the student were still enrolled in the former district, except that the student shall generally be allowed to participate in practices regardless of the former district’s policy on practices during periods of ineligibility. The student may file a written request with the building principal to have the term of ineligibility imposed by the former district reconsidered. The administration may shorten the period of ineligibility if it is determined that the student would have received a shorter period of ineligibility if the student had been enrolled at Urbandale at the time the ineligibility was imposed by the former district. The number of periods of ineligibility imposed by former districts shall be considered when imposing sanctions for a violation of 510.3 of the Urbandale Eligibility Code after enrollment in the Urbandale Community School District (e.g., if the student had one period of ineligibility during that calendar year prior to enrolling in Urbandale, a violation of the Urbandale Eligibility Code shall be treated as a second offense).

510.6 Consecutive Periods of Ineligibility. If a student violates 510.3 of the Eligibility Code at a time when he or she is ineligible to participate in co-curricular activities by virtue of a prior violation, the period of ineligibility for such subsequent violation shall commence after the period of ineligibility for all prior violations.

If a student violates 510.3 of the Eligibility Code and is also academically ineligible, the period of ineligibility for the violation of 510.3 shall be added to the period of academic ineligibility. Students involved in multiple activities will be ineligible in all activities for a violation of 510.3

510.7 Other Factors Relating to Eligibility:

a. Attendance. A student must be in school and attend classes the half day immediately preceding any scheduled event or practice in order to participate, unless the student was absent for an appointment approved by the administration.

b. Other Rules. Coaches and sponsors may make other reasonable rules as they relate to their activities as long as the rules are approved by the administration. Violation of these rules may also result in dismissal from the activity.

c. Appeal. A student who has been declared ineligible to participate in co-curricular activities may appeal the determination by using the Student Complaint Procedure as set forth in policies 536 and 229. An appeal by the student shall not stay the operation of the discipline imposed while the appeal is pending.

d. Non-School Sponsored Sports. A high school student who participates in school-sponsored athletics may participate in the same, non-school sponsored sport during the same season. However, such outside participation should not conflict with the school-sponsored athletic activity. Written notification shall be provided to the high school head coach and the Activities Director of the student’s intent to participate in a non-school sport in the same season as the high school sport prior to the beginning of the season. Any student not providing this written notification who participates in a non-school sport may be subject to sanctions determined by the head coach and the Activities Director. A student and parent or guardian may appeal the sanctions through Board Policy 229. Coaches retain their authority to consider the amount of playing time for an athlete based on the student’s commitment to the school-sponsored sport.

Effective date: July 1, 2008

Date of Revision: September 28, 2015

Legal References: Chapter 124, Chapter 124A, 279.8, 279.8A, 279.9, 279.9A, 279.9B, 280.13, 280.14, 280.17A, 80.17B, 280.21, 280.21B, Chapter 290, Code of Iowa; 281 I.A.C. 12.3(8), 36.14, 36.15 578478

URBANDALE COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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