STUDENT SECTION Policy: 9.42

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1 SCHOOL SPONSORED STUDENT ACTIVITIES Student activities are either school sponsored, approved and conducted in accordance with this policy and regulation, or student sponsored activities governed by Policy 9.12 Student Access To High School Facilities For Non-Curriculum Related Student Groups. Co-curricular school sponsored activities are a more direct extension of the instructional program or related to the courses offered by the schools. School sponsored extra-curricular activities, while still contributing to the educational objectives of the school, are less directly related to classroom instruction. A. School Sponsored Co-curricular and Extra-curricular Activities - General Provisions The co-curricular and extra-curricular activity program of the is conducted in accordance with accreditation standards of the State Board of Education. School sponsored co-curricular and extra-curricular activities are under the direct supervision of the staff and should contribute to the educational objectives of the school. They are evaluated periodically and organized so that interruptions of the instructional program are avoided. They should not be permitted to interfere with an individual student's required instructional activities. Co-curricular and extra-curricular activities and eligibility requirements are established and approved either by the Superintendent or the School Board. Student activities are approved if (1) they are included in the annual school budget where sponsorship is compensated under the EPED Schedule, (2) they are part of instructional activity or an extension thereof, (3) school staff has been directed to sponsor the activity under Policy 8.55, or (4) specifically approved by the Superintendent. Any person or group objecting to the approval or termination of a specific club, organization or activity has the right to appeal to the School Board through the office of the Superintendent. Students are encouraged to pursue activities and groups which interest them and which extend the opportunity for learning beyond the classroom setting. Activities include, but are not limited to, interscholastic and intramural sports, student government organizations, publications, service clubs, dramatic and musical productions, special interest groups, honor societies, and academic competitions. All students engaged in student activities must conduct themselves in accordance with the Student Code of Conduct, Policy Co-curricular and extra-curricular organizations shall not engage in any activity which is contrary to law, division policy or school rules; which disrupts or clearly threatens to disrupt the orderly operation of the school; or which would adversely affect the health, safety or welfare of any students or staff members. Failure to comply with these provisions shall be grounds for disciplinary action, including suspension of the group's privilege to meet. The School Board does not sanction as a part of the school program the involvement of students in 1

2 activities that imply school endorsement of the cause of an individual political party or candidate. Co-curricular and extracurricular organizations may conduct drives to collect food and charitable gifts from students on school premises as long as the collections are voluntary and part of the approved activities for the organization. B. Membership Membership in all school sponsored student co-curricular and extra-curricular activities shall be voluntary. Membership shall be open to and limited to all students currently enrolled and in good standing in the sponsoring school. Such organizations may establish academic qualifications for membership where necessarily related to the purposes of the organization. Any student qualified to participate in any type of activity sponsored by the school division may do so without regard to race, color, religion, creed, national origin, age, disability, marital status, or sexual orientation. Qualifications based on gender may be imposed only where based on competitive athletic skill. C. Revocation of Privilege of Participation School sponsored co-curricular and extracurricular activities are an important extension of the public education provided. However, they are additional, non-mandated opportunities for students and are made available as a matter of privilege, not right. If a student has been suspended, expelled or excluded from the regular school program, in accordance with Policy 9.26, or placed in an alternative educational setting, the privilege to participate in co-curricular and extracurricular activities is automatically revoked and is coextensive with such suspension, expulsion, exclusion or placement. The privilege to participate in extracurricular activities, however, may be separately revoked as a disciplinary consequence or as a safety measure, depending on the facts and circumstances. The principal in each building is the official in whom is vested the authority to revoke participation in co-curricular and extracurricular activities. A student whose privilege is to be revoked will be given an explanation of the reason for the revocation and the expected length of the revocation. The explanation can be oral or written. The privilege to participate in extracurricular activities can only be revoked for cause. Cause includes: A violation by the student of the Student Code of Conduct or other School Board policies; A violation by the student of the obligations described in the VHSL handbook; A determination by the principal that the revocation of extracurricular activity privileges is necessary to preserve the safety and security of the student, and other members of the school community; The length and extent of the revocation should be commensurate with the seriousness and extent of 2

3 the cause. D. Sponsorship/Approval The administration will appoint or recommend appointment of staff sponsors for each activity. The sponsor is responsible for the guidance and general supervision of the activity and will ensure that all actions conform to school division policies and regulations. School sponsorship, in the form of staff involvement, exists where (1) the activity is an instructional activity or the extension of an instructional activity, (2) the staff sponsorship is compensated under the EPED schedule, (3) the staff person has been directed to sponsor an activity under Policy 8.55, or (4) the staff member volunteers to sponsor the activity and it is specifically approved through the approval process. A student activity may be specifically approved as school sponsored by the Superintendent when it is consistent with the educational mission of the schools, or extends learning opportunities to participants. A written request to approve an activity must be submitted, including proposed sponsorship, any membership requirements, meeting time and place, and proposed activities and purposes. An activity may be approved for a trial period to ascertain long term viability. On an annual basis, the Superintendent will report to the School Board all school sponsored student activities, including those specifically approved under this authority. E. Budget and Financial Support Financial support for co-curricular and extra-curricular activities is provided through athletic gate receipts, admission fees charged to the general public, the School Board approved Operating Budget and approved fund raising activities. If the group's activities involve fund raising, the sponsor is responsible for ensuring compliance with Policy 9.53 Student Fund Raising, and Policy 4.19 Internal School Accounts. The budget for each group shall describe all proposed fund-raising activities and expenditures. On an annual basis, during the first month of the student group s activities, all VHSL- governed athletic teams will submit a proposed budget to the Athletic Director. The Athletic Director is considered the sponsor for all the athletic teams and will ensure overall coordination of the athletic teams fundraising activities and expenditures. Final approval of the athletic team budgets rests with the building principal. All other non- VHSL athletic, co-curricular and extracurricular activities shall submit a proposed budget for approval by the building principal in the same time frame. The principals will provide the information for the Superintendent s annual report under Policy F. Transportation Transportation to and from co-curricular and extra-curricular activities may be provided by school 3

4 buses and/or school owned vehicles or leased vehicles, if available, or by commercial vehicles. Students are not required to use school provided transportation for such activities. The school district shall maintain liability and property damage insurance in the amounts required by law for operation of vehicles used to transport school pupils or personnel at public expense. To provide the cost of transportation for extra-curricular activities not covered by an activity fund, which have voluntary participation and which are separate from the regular instructional program, the School Board may accept contributions or may charge students who use the transportation their reasonable pro rata share of the cost. Each student participating in an activity scheduled away from school must have written parental or guardian's permission. G. Interscholastic Competition 1. Athletics Interscholastic athletic programs approved by the School Board are available to all eligible high school students. Interscholastic athletic activities are conducted in accordance with the rules of the Virginia High School League. The safety, health, and welfare of the students are primary considerations in all decisions made regarding student athletics. Competitive sports of a varsity or junior varsity nature (scheduled league games) are prohibited as a part of the elementary school program. Eighth grade students may participate in sub-varsity athletics in accordance with the rules of the Virginia High School League. 2. Other Interscholastic Competition a. VHSL governed All other competition among high schools governed by the Virginia High School League, such as journalistic, dramatic or forensic competitions, will be conducted in accordance with the League's rules. The School Board encourages this type of competition. The disciplinary provisions of the VHSL Handbook are expressly adopted to govern student athletes and participants in activities governed by the VHSL. In any specific case, if there is a conflict between the VHSL handbook procedure and this policy, whichever source gives greater procedural safeguards to the student will control, but in all cases, the deciding official will be the building principal. b. Governed by other organizations The schools may consider encouraging interscholastic competitions sponsored by other established organizations which provide comparable opportunity and fairness. Participation 4

5 will follow the organization s rules. H. Intramural Sports The schools are authorized to conduct a program of intramural sports activities based on the interests of the students, provided they can be conducted safely. I. Student Performances The Superintendent may permit public performances by students under the auspices of a school-sponsored organization when such performances: 1. Fulfill the objectives of the school, 2. Meet the needs and interests of the students, 3. Stimulate the students in improving their ability to perform, 4. Are appropriate to the participating age group, 5. Require no extraordinary training but are the natural outgrowth of the normal teaching sequence, and 6. Do not encroach on the opportunities of professional performers or musicians. Students performing under the auspices of a school-sponsored organization may perform for outside organizations where admission fees are charged only if the proceeds are used for charitable, educational or civic purposes. Costs associated with these performances shall be borne by the outside organization. Payment for the performance is acceptable only in the form of a contribution to support the work of the performing school-sponsored organization. Performing students shall be supervised by adults under the direction of the school. Liability protection is to be provided by the outside organization. Legal Reference: Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, Sections: , Rules of the Virginia High School League 5

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