b. School day - the period between the time students are required to report and the time of dismissal as specified by the Board of Education policy.

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1 Board Policy Competitive Interscholastic Activities, Grades 6-8 Descriptor Code: IDE(2) PURPOSE The Board of Education supports the offerings of competitive interscholastic activities subject to reasonable rules and regulations that prevent any participation from interfering with academic achievement of students. DEFINITIONS a. Competitive interscholastic activities- any function held under the auspices or sponsorship of a school that involves its students in competition between individuals and groups representing two or more schools. Cheerleading, bands and chorus are included in this definition if the members compete in scheduled activities with students representing a different school. b. School day - the period between the time students are required to report and the time of dismissal as specified by the Board of Education policy. c. Georgia High School Association (GHSA)- an independent organization which establishes regulations for uniform rules of eligibility and play in high school interscholastic competitive activities. d. Conference- Douglas County Middle School Athletic Conference. e. Full Time Student-any student that takes a minimum of five (5) six (6) classes carrying credit toward grade promotion. REQUIREMENTS a. The school principal will regulate competitive interscholastic activities in his or her school and will ensure that all staff members adhere to requirements. b. Each school principal will maintain documentation on student eligibility and upon request provide evidence. c. The Constitution and By-laws of the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) will be adhered to by all students except as stated otherwise in this policy or in the By-Laws of the Douglas County Middle School Athletic Conference. d. Interpretation of the Douglas County Middle School Athletic Association Rules will be made by the Conference Committee which consists of the principal from each school. That ruling will be final.

2 STUDENT ELIGIBILITY i. For determining student eligibility, the grading period will be a semester as specified by the board of education policy. The same period will also be the minimum length of the ineligibility period. Students participating in competitive interscholastic activities cannot fail more than one subject in the semester preceding participation. Connections classes taken during the same semester are averaged to count as two subjects for eligibility purposes. Students participating in competitive interscholastic activities will be enrolled full time in a Douglas County Middle School and must be attending the school in their district. Students who transfer with Board approval are ineligible for one calendar year. v. Student eligibility will be determined on the first school day of a semester. vi. v v ix. If a student receives an incomplete for a subject that will be used to establish eligibility, he or she may complete make up work that will change the incomplete to a grade provided the opportunity is available to all students. To participate during the first semester competitive activities, the student shall complete all make-up work within 14 calendar days from the end of the second semester. To participate during the second semester, the student shall complete all makeup work within 14 calendar days from the first day of the 2nd semester. A student is ineligible until make up work is completed and the required passing grade(s) is/are recorded in the student s permanent record. x. No sixth grade student will be allowed to participate in any competitive interscholastic activity. xi. x x x There will not be a Junior Varsity team/teams for grades seven and eight. In order to participate in an extracurricular or after school activity, a student must be present at school for at least three and one half hours of the instructional day. In extreme emergencies the principal may give special approval for participation. Academically ineligible students are prohibited from practicing or dressing out for competitive interscholastic events. Summer school credit may not be used to gain eligibility.

3 PHYSICAL EXAMINATIONS All students who participate in competitive interscholastic athletics and cheerleading must have an annual physical examination prior to participation in any tryout, practice or conditioning, whichever comes first. The physical examination form (Douglas County School System Interscholastic Activities Participation and Physical Form) will indicate approval for participation and be signed by a doctor of medicine or a doctor of osteopathy. The physical examination form will also include the date that the exam was performed (month, day, year), the student s name; the Doctor s signature, and a parent/guardian signature. A physical form signed by a doctor of medicine or doctor of osteopathy will be required each calendar year. Physical examinations will be good for twelve (12) months from the date of the exam. TIME RESTRICTIONS i. Competitive interscholastic activities and all individual and group practice for such activities will be conducted outside the school day. Competitive interscholastic activities and group and individual practice on a day preceding a school day may not begin prior to the end of the school day and must end no later than four hours after the close of the home team s school day than 8:00 p.m. Only one day or night each week preceding a school day may be used to schedule a competitive interscholastic activity; tournaments are excluded from this restriction. Softball and Soccer are an exception to this rule. a. During the week, it is permissible for a school to schedule and play a game or match in one sport or at one level on one day and another game or match in another sport or at another grade level on another day. It is also permissible to schedule girls on one day and boys on another. Students in grade seven and eight will not play more than percent of the number of regularly schedule games played by the high school varsity in any given sport. One tournament, not to exceed four games, may be played in addition to the regular season games. v. No student in grades seven and eight will participate in more than one competitive interscholastic activity per week in the same sport on a day preceding a school day. Middle school students may not practice on Saturdays, Sundays, and school holidays. Optional practices are allowed on teacher work days and professional learning days after 3:30. SEASONAL PRACTICE i. Cheerleader try outs will be scheduled so as not to interfere with other regular season sports, academics, or examinations. No Spring Football practice. Rising 9 th graders may attend a non-contact 3 day

4 football camp/clinic at the high school they will be attending. Dates of the camp/clinic shall not interfere with other regular season sports, academics, or examinations. Neither school personnel, sponsors nor coaches will suggest, require, or otherwise attempt to influence students to participate in, practice and/or condition for a competitive interscholastic activity during the school day. SPECIAL PROVISIONS i. Special education students will meet the same eligibility requirements as regular education students, except that the courses passed must be according to the student s IEP. Special Olympics or other athletic programs designed exclusively for students with disabilities are exempt. The provisions of this rule do not apply to participation in vocational clubs, academic bowls, geography bees, spelling bees, science fairs, math bowls, or specific subject area fairs. The Douglas Board of Education may allow schools within its jurisdiction to join leagues or appropriate associations for the purpose of formulating and enforcing uniform rules of eligibility and play. Nothing in this rule will be deemed to authorize the use of state or local tax dollars for membership in these organizations. Middle school students may not participate with nor compete on any high school team or in any high school interscholastic activity. This policy prohibits middle school students from participating in any types of high school interscholastic practices, weight training, or band. Exceptions to this policy would allow high school try outs for flag corp, and cheerleader. Exceptions to this policy would allow high school tryouts for Flag Corp, Cheerleader, and participation in a 3 day non-contact football camp/clinic at high schools. RETENTION OF STUDENTS FOR ATHLETIC PURPOSES IS PROHIBITED. 1. If a school chooses to retain a student who has passing grades, the school will document the educational reasons for the retention. Written documentation will be maintained in the student s permanent record and will include the following information: i. a parent/guardian written request outlining the reasons for requesting the retention and/or school-initiated written request with accompanying written approval of the request by the parent/guardian. Statements from two professional sources from outside the school justifying the retention for education reasons. Written approval of the retention request and justification of the retention for educational reason by the principal, the superintendent and by two teachers (other than athletic coaches) who have taught the student.

5 DELETE WAIVERS/VARIANCES a. Requests for waiver or variance of provisions in state rule Grades 6-8: Competitive Interscholastic Activities may be made by a student or a student s parent or guardian, by school or school system personnel, or by a local board of education. b. Such requests will include the following information. 1. The requirement from which a variance or waiver is requested. 2. The type of action requested. 3. he specific facts of substantial hardship which would justify a variance or waiver for the petitioner, including the alternative standards which the person seeking the variance or waiver agrees to meet and a showing that such alternative standards will afford adequate protection for the public health, safety, and welfare. 4. The reason why the variance or waiver requested would serve the purpose of the rule on competitive activities. 5. The activity involved. 6. Evidence that supports the request, including statements of students and/or parents school personnel, and doctors (if medical condition is involved); student grade reports; official student transcripts; and any other pertinent information. c. The State Board of Education has authorized the state school superintendent to approve or deny requests for waivers/variances of this rule when requirements pose an undue hardship upon the student or the school. (This waiver process is no longer addressed in the state rule. The waiver process is now covered by a separate SBOE rule)

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