Different schools, different rules

KUSD board compromises on eligibility

The Kingman Unified School District Governing Board voted in favor of instituting separate eligibility guidelines for extra-curricular activities at the middle- and high-school levels. (Miner file photos)

The Kingman Unified School District Governing Board voted in favor of instituting separate eligibility guidelines for extra-curricular activities at the middle- and high-school levels. (Miner file photos)

KINGMAN - Students at the two middle schools and two high schools will follow different guidelines when it comes to determining eligibility for extra-curricular activities.

The Kingman Unified School District Governing Board voted 4-1 Tuesday in favor of instituting the separate guidelines at the middle- and high-school levels. Board President Charles Lucero voted against the motion, noting he sees it as the district's responsibility to make rules.

The guidelines were a compromise between board member Bruce Ricca and the district's athletic directors, who recently met to hammer out the details. Ricca has been adamant that students should maintain a 2.0 grade average, or a "C," to participate in sports and school clubs.

"Everyone knows my position on this issue, but I wanted to have the directors come up with some guidelines so we could discuss it," said Ricca. "Sure, I'd like to see more than what we have, but I do like this proposal. And if I say I'm OK with this for now, I don't want it to stop here."

In October 2013, Ricca suggested raising the eligibility standard from a 1.0, or a "D," to a 2.0, or a "C," standard. Not everyone agreed, and a committee was formed to look into the idea and report its findings. The committee was unable to reach a consensus. But in 2014, the board decided to raise the grade point average to 1.5, which is still a "D." It continues to remain there, with various conditions.

On Tuesday, the board first considered the high-school level guidelines for all students, including those in middle school. But board member Carole Young noted that middle school students need more flexibility, while high-schoolers should have increased expectations and rigor.

At the high school level, the new guidelines are:

• Grade checks for all participants will take place at the end of week 3

• Eligibility will be checked with progress reports sent out after week 4

• Students passing all classes will be eligible until grades are checked again at the end of the first quarter

• Students with an "F" or a grade point average under 1.5 will be declared ineligible, and their grades will be checked weekly until they become eligible again

• If their grade point average goes above 2.0, they will be eligible until the next time grades are checked

• Students with a grade point average between 1.5 and 2.0 will remain eligible for the time being, but will be required to attend tutoring two times a week for the classes in which they are doing poorly

• As long as students attend tutoring and maintain a grade point average between 1.5 and 2.0, they will remain eligible for participation, with their grades checked weekly

• If they get their grades above the 2.0 grade point average with all passing classes, they will no longer have to attend tutoring

At the middle school level, the guidelines are:

• Academic progress will be checked each Friday

• Any student/athlete with an "F" or "D" in any class may be assigned to Reteach for the following week

• An eligibility check will occur every third Friday, and if a student/athlete has an "F" or a grade point average of less than 1.5, he or she will be declared ineligible

• A student who is ineligible will not be allowed to participate in athletic competitions until the "F" is at least a "D" and the grade point average is 1.5 or better

• Students may continue to practice while ineligible

• A student may not dress for competition while ineligible but can sit on the team bench

• A student may not travel with the team while ineligible

Jerry Arave, principal of Hualapai Elementary School, and Don Martin, principal of Kingman Middle School, both pointed out the need for differences in the guidelines for students in the middle schools. Arave has served as a coach and a middle school principal.

"Middle school is different," said Arave. "If students are ineligible and they can't go to practice, they'll quit. I don't want to lessen the load or encourage low expectations, but a lot of these kids don't go home to the families we go home to after school. They need encouragement."

The board will receive an update on the eligibility guidelines in January and plans to revisit the issue in June 2016 to see whether changes need to be made or the bar should be raised to 2.0 at that time.